Over the last 20 years, PEPFAR has helped to save the lives of 21 million people through its focus on AIDS. Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and Concordia Senior Advisor, noted support for the program over four presidential administrations and 10 congresses, an impressive feat of bipartisanship in a fractious era. PEPFAR has expanded its mission and is now working on more health issues, like helping to prevent cervical cancer in HIV-positive women.
Dr. Mamadi Yilla, Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for Multisector Relations at the U.S. Department of State, described her recent trip to Malawi where PEPFAR has spent considerable time helping to strengthen the government’s response to AIDS. This success at integrating services offers more beyond HIV and AIDS. Building on that idea, Carmen Villar, Vice President for Social Business Innovation at Merck and Co., Inc., explained how Merck has a hand in inventing, innovating, or producing almost all of the childhood vaccinations in the U.S. Encouraging uptake of the HPV vaccine globally is a natural fit for the company.
Moving to a ground-level view, Senator Lizzie Nkosi, Minister for Health for the Eswatini Government, highlighted her country’s efforts to reach its goals around testing, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Over three decades, they have seen in practice the importance of collaboration and consistency. The structural interventions and community services have been used to great effect in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and now to combat HPV and its resulting cervical cancer.
“How do we both address the front end and the back end of the treatment?”
Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute; Concordia Senior Advisor
We need to work hard and put effort into making sure we vaccinate our girls […] so we can ensure their wellbeing as they grow.”
Senator Lizzie Nkosi, Minister for Health, Eswatini Government
“We have either invented, innovated, or helped manufacture the majority of childhood recommended vaccinations in the U.S.”
Carmen Villar, Vice President, Social Business Innovation, Merck and Co., Inc.
“We have had the privilege to actually see [this] transform the lives of the individuals it was intended to serve.”
Dr. Mamadi Yilla, Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for Multisector Relations, U.S. Department of State