Health diplomacy should be a pillar of U.S. foreign policy, as it can help advance U.S. interests, according to former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson.
Thomson says health displomacy involves exporting medical care and humanitarian aid, building in-country capacity, and providing health education, training and personnel to win the hearts of minds of those abroad. It covers an array of services, including lifesaving AIDS medications, emergency health care, polio vaccinations and medical research partnerships.
“The connection between health, security and economic success has gained traction among global health policy stakeholders. I urge the 112th Congress to build on this momentum. Health diplomacy must be institutionalized as a critical component of U.S. diplomatic, defense and foreign policy,” Thompson writes in The Huffington Post.
Thompson cites the role of health diplomacy in protecting the U.S. against pandemics and political unrest.
“Global health is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. It’s not even exclusively an American issue. It is the moral responsibility and strategic concern of every freedom-loving citizen of the world,” he notes.
Read more about U.S. development aid.