A few years ago, I had the opportunity to join a meeting of ministry of health officials from countries in East Africa. Their dilemma – and ours too – was how to ensure migratory populations who move across borders were not neglected by trachoma elimination programs.
With my colleague Dr. Paul Emerson, director of the International Trachoma Initiative, we offered to help these countries work together to address this threat to trachoma elimination. This collaborative approach had not previously been attempted. But in 2017, these countries started coordinating their mass treatment programs to ensure that no one is left behind.
This was another inspiring example of the critical role that The Task Force for Global Health brings to solving large-scale health problems. As a trusted and transparent partner, we help countries and organizations see beyond borders and take the actions necessary to end debilitating diseases affecting the most vulnerable.
Our ability to catalyze collective action helped make 2017 another breakthrough year for The Task Force. We helped the world reach the ‘last mile’ of polio eradication. We supported treatment for hundreds of millions of people for neglected tropical diseases. And we made progress in brokering a new way for U.S. public health to know about disease outbreaks. This year’s annual report showcases some of this work and how we’re doing it.
President & CEO, The Task Force for Global Health