The Global Health Initiative (GHI)


The Global Health Initiative (GHI) is a global health policy launched by the Obama administration. The policy looks at effort building activities that the US government proposes to implement over a six year period. The policy also provides mechanisms on the implementation of the health plan especially on how the proposed $ 63 billion is to be spent. Most of the money is intended to go into fighting tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria in the developing world. Other areas that the proposed health initiative will look into are family planning, reproductive health, child and maternal health and other tropical diseases. The policy is generally aimed at improving the health systems in developing countries. Kates (2010) analyzes the policy as follows:

Core principles

The GHI utilizes seven principles in its approach towards improving global health. The first is the principle of women and girl-centeredness. This principle states that the US administration commits itself towards the improvement of the welfare of women and the girl child due to their marginalized position in third world countries. The second principle is that of strategic coordination and integration which involves the involvement of all key stakeholders in implementing the health plan and also having a goal oriented approach to health issues with set targets. Thirdly, there is the principle of leveraging and strengthening key multilaterals and other partners. This principle involves the isolation of certain target countries to benefit most from the GHI due to their special needs or their strategic relationship with the US.

There is also the principle of country ownership which involves cooperation with local governments to implement the plan with the bulk of the work being left to these governments. Lastly we have the three key principles of improving evaluation and monitoring, ensuring sustainability of global health by strengthening weak health systems and finally, promoting innovation and research.

Main implementation components

These components outline the strategy which the US government will use to roll out the GHI. The key components include; doing what has been proven to work, building on and expanding the already existing platforms, using innovation to achieve results and finally collaborating with partners to promote country ownership. The components are meant to support the inculcation of the core principles in the GHI.

Target areas

The GHI seeks to target nine key health issues that are very pertinent to global health. They include; malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, reproductive health, neglected tropical diseases, child health and maternal health. The GHI also aims at strengthening weak health systems.

Relevance of the GHI to nurses

While the GHI might not seem very relevant to US nurses owing to the fact that the policy is aimed at assisting global partners in improving their health systems, there are certain issues of relevance to nurses in the U.S. First, the GHI seeks to improve health systems. Since nurses play a huge role in the medical world, the lack of sufficient nursing has contributed to the poor state of health. US nurses could be called upon to assist or provide technical support and training in countries with weak systems. Additionally, nurses could help in the improvement of global health by participating in the implementation of the GHI. Finally, US nurses could provide guidance as to best nursing practices which might then be recommended to health systems in recipient countries.


Kates, J., (2010). The Global Health Initiative: Key Issues. Kaiser Family Foundation. Web.

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