health diplomacy

What started in 2003 as a U.S. public health campaign has now become a full-fledged global movement with homegrown versions of a "cut out meat one day a week" program in 21 countries. This rapid global growth isn't the result of a big-budget NGO or a's driven by committed advocates from all walks of life...who share the belief that eating less meat is good for our health and good for the planet.

An American-funded clinic to train birthing assistants is saving lives in one of China’s most isolated regions. The Surmang Foundation’s clinic, set in a Buddhist monastery, is also pioneering a system of rural health care for the ultrapoor that some experts say could be a model for the rest of the country.

Polio has all but been eradicated from the Earth, but not quite. So Bill Gates and the soccer club FC Barcelona are joining forces to push the effort past the goal line. They're calling it the "More than a Goal. End Polio" campaign...Barcelona plans to spread the message through in-stadium advertisements, announcements during matches, and via social media to the millions of followers worldwide.

A week-long trip of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Nigeria has resulted in valuable programming and distribution agreements. At a town hall meeting in Nigeria yesterday, the Broadcasting Board of Governors launched the VOA Africa Health Network. The Network will help address the health and developmental needs of audiences across Africa.

The people of the United States and the people of Ireland are working together to find more ways to improve maternal and child nutrition in the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and when a child turns 2 years old, when nutrition is most critical for saving lives and promoting cognitive and physical development.

The United States in 2003 committed $15 billion over five years to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Although not labeled as such, this is public diplomacy as it should be done. It is about service, not advertising. It improves (and protects) people’s lives, and as a result wins friends and serves the diplomatic interests of the United States.

Britain and billionaire Bill Gates together pledged more than $2.3 billion (£1.4 billion) at an international donor conference on Monday to fund vaccination programmes to protect children in poor countries. The Prime Minister said the new funding arrangement will vaccinate more than 80 million children against diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.

On Monday morning, David Cameron – in his first major initiative in development diplomacy in the UK – will chair a summit for pledges to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi). There's a shortfall of £2.3bn, and it's being seen as a litmus test of how well aid can survive in the age of austerity.