Newly created bureau is meant to make health security a global priority while building the capacity of U.S. diplomats and local health systems to curb future outbreaks
By Physician’s Briefing Staff HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has long successfully provided relief to people with AIDS around the world, will now be housed within the U.S. State Department.
The move comes after years of pressure by antiabortion groups and some Republican members of Congress to attach abortion-related limits on U.S. health support overseas, including PEPFAR.
The program was started by President George W. Bush in 2003 and has received about $100 billion in U.S. funding during the past two decades. But PEPFAR will now be included within the new Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, part of the State Department, the Associated Press reported.
The newly created bureau is meant to make health security a global priority while building the capacity of U.S. diplomats and local health systems to curb future outbreaks, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
PEPFAR has maintained bipartisan support, but the new move to the State Department occurs as the program continues to be targeted as part of the abortion battle.
The newly created bureau will be led by John Nkengasong, who was born in Cameroon and is a founder of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention operations in Africa. Under Nkengasong’s guidance, the CDC helped set up the first sophisticated labs for HIV/AIDS work in that region, the AP reported. Nkengasong said the lessons learned from the U.S. HIV program “are applied daily” with regard to other health threats.
Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.