No one should have to live in fear of infectious disease or its devastating effect on families and communities.
Unfortunately, far too many people around the world still suffer from serious and debilitating infectious diseases. This includes ancient challenges, like polio, tuberculosis, malaria and many neglected tropical diseases, as well as more recent threats, from HIV/AIDS to Ebola and Zika. An estimated 15 million people die each year from these diseases, the majority of whom live in low-income countries. In 2015, tuberculosis, the leading infectious disease killer, took at least 1.8 million lives, and an estimated 2.1 million people became newly infected with HIV. About half the world’s population remains at risk of malaria.
Ensuring that all communities have access to essential tools – such as vaccines, diagnostics and drugs – saves lives and builds productive, healthy economies. Meeting the need for antiretroviral therapies and providing quality care to all people living with HIV could avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths between 2015 and 2030. Distributing bed nets and other malaria prevention tools keeps children in school and adults at work, yirleding a nearly forty-fold return on investment. And by reaching every child with polio vaccines and keeping up strong disease surveillance, we can give future generations the ultimate gift: a world free from polio.
To fight infectious disease, we help our clients advocate for improved access to existing tools and services, increased funding, and investments in innovation. Working with a network of stakeholders, we use global milestones, conferences and events to raise awareness and make the case for stronger policies and practice. Our work is driven by our commitment to reduce the burden of these diseases and build a healthier world for all.
At GHS, a day working on infectious diseases may mean:
- Drafting an op-ed to mark World Immunization Week
- Building a resource website to disseminate social media content and media coverage about neglected tropical disease
- Conducting research to get up to speed on the latest clinical trial data for HIV prevention breakthroughs
- Organizing a high-level panel with experts to speak about the final stage of the polio eradication effort
- Pitching stories to journalists about populations still vulnerable to tuberculosis
- Tracking the online conversation around malaria and identifying key champions and stakeholders to move it forward
- Designing fact sheets to help lay audiences understand the scope of neglected tropical diseases