Today, public-private partnerships are vital to advancing and improving public health, and we at the CDC Foundation are grateful to our donors for their generous contributions of funds, expertise and engagement that help CDC save and improve lives in the United States and throughout the world.
The CDC Foundation has just released our fiscal year 2014 Report to Contributors, titled “Why I Give: A Celebration of Our Partners,” which has led me to reflect on the power of public-private partnerships to drive progress in health. The CDC Foundation’s support of CDC’s response to the current Ebola epidemic is one example of how private-sector funding can help fight global health threats. We are humbled by the generosity of our donors who are contributing millions of dollars to help CDC’s response in West Africa, including a $25 million grant, which we just announced, from Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan. Yet there are many other examples of how the public and private sectors are coming together to do amazing things.
For example, a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping to facilitate CDC’s work with developing countries to train local public health workers and strengthen systems to better detect and respond to dangerous diseases like meningitis and rotavirus—and now Ebola.
Maternal and child health is another area where public-private partnerships are making a difference. Our mHealth Tanzania Partnership—led by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania with support from the CDC Foundation, CDC, and numerous Tanzanian and international public and private sector partners—is leveraging the booming mobile phone infrastructure in Tanzania to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Through the program, text messages and appointment reminders are sent at no charge to pregnant women and mothers of newborns, as well as to their supporters. In addition, programs with Bloomberg Philanthropies are collecting and analyzing data that can be used to inform efforts aimed at improving maternal and child health in Tanzania going forward.
There are myriad examples of how the meaningful engagement of donors is helping to enhance CDC’s efforts at home and abroad, including preventing infections in cancer patients, optimizing safe driving for teens, and developing an injection safety campaign for U.S. healthcare settings. In every case, we’re able to help solve big problems and allow CDC to pursue life-saving work that might not be possible without the support of external partners.
Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has launched 761 programs and raised more than $450 million to advance the life-saving work of CDC. We greatly appreciate our partners and celebrate their deep commitment that inspires us and supports CDC’s work to create a healthier, safer world for us all.