Majority of Americans Believe Funding Global Health Keeps U.S. Safe

November 12, 2009 By Richard Parker

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Survey on the U.S. Role in Global Health Update says that “55 percent of Americans agree that U.S. spending to improve health in developing countries helps protect the health of Americans by preventing the spread of epidemics to the U.S.”  While funding for global health certainly demonstrates our nation’s humanitarian values, this survey reinforces how important the funding in the International Affairs Budget also is to ensuring our national security and our economic prosperity. 

What affects the health of one nation today affects the health of all nations.  And as we’ve seen from the Gates Foundation’s Living Proof Project, U.S. investments in global health are working. 

Another interesting part of the survey is that “58 percent say it is more important to emphasize programs that help countries build their health system infrastructure, under the theory that stronger health systems can better handle a variety of problems.”  Assisting countries in developing their own health systems is a sustainable model, making other countries better able to care for their own people. 

One additional part of the survey also says two-thirds of Americans favor multilateral efforts as opposed to direct aid to governments.  Kaiser believes this “reflect(s) longstanding concerns about corruption that have been demonstrated in other polls.”