October 02, 2011

Welcome to the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s new blog: Breakthroughs

GHTC Director

Night photo of the Washington monument. A letter from GHTC Director Kaitlin Christenson:

Here at the GHTC, our team is dedicated to the idea that it’s possible to find new health solutions that will save countless lives around the world. From the first-ever vaccine to prevent malaria, to a ground-breaking gel that can prevent HIV infection, to new, simpler regimens to treat TB, we believe that science can and will deliver the tools we need to eliminate some of the world’s deadliest diseases.

But we’re not naïve enough to think that science alone is enough. Without the right policies in place, innovative solutions might remain in the lab and never reach those who are most in need.

It’s this very collision between science and policy that compels us to do what we do: talk with US policymakers about the promise and potential that US-funded research holds for global health, and about the types of policies that must be in place to ensure that the fruits of these efforts aren’t wasted.

We feel as if there has never been a more exciting time to work in global health, and we hope you share our passion. The past few years have yielded momentous scientific advances that have the potential to completely change the way we address disease in poor countries. Just last year, PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the first-ever vaccine designed solely with Africa in mind, and rates of meningitis A have plummeted as a result. And over the past two years, scientists have proven that a host of new interventions might give us the power to change the way we prevent HIV.

We also believe that it has never been a more critical time to work in global health. Policymakers on Capitol Hill are currently making incredibly tough decisions regarding the federal budget. There have been signs that Congress could cut health research funds, despite an unprecedented string of successes in the past few years.

A mother holds her baby wearing a red bonnet. We cannot lose momentum now. Some of the greatest scientific minds of our time are dedicated to these and other causes, and the US Government has an important hand in pushing it all forward.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll use this blog to share photos, videos, and interviews with the heroes who have dedicated their lives to this cause—from researchers in remote spots around the world, to policymakers right here in the US. We’ll show you the amazing work our members are doing to help people around the globe and keep you informed about the policy changes in DC that impact these issues.

We’ve found the nexus where science, health, and policy collide, and we’re excited to share it with you. We hope you’ll enjoy what you find on these pages and that you’ll come back for more!

Photo credits: PATH.

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