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The Task Force for Child Survival


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Dr. Bill Foege, one of the best-known names in global health, brings readers to the table during the creation of one of the world's most famous and successful global health efforts-the Task Force for Child Survival. In 1984, the US immunization program was so successful that many childhood diseases were at record lows-yet 40,000 children a day were dying around the world from preventable diseases. That year, Dr. Foege, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, came together with Jonas Salk, Robert McNamara, and representatives from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Rockefeller Foundation to see how some of the lessons learned in America could be applied to global programs. The assembled participants recommended the formation of a small task force to help UN agencies improve immunization coverage. They dubbed it the Task Force for Child Survival and installed Foege as its first leader. In this book, Dr. Foege describes the task force from its conception through its landmark success. Over its first six years, as more resources were allocated to the task force, immunization coverage climbed from approximately 15 percent of the world's children for some vaccines to 80 percent of the world's children for at least one vaccine. UNICEF head Jim Grant called it the greatest peacetime endeavor the world had ever seen. How did this small, independent, low-profile group leverage change in the largest of global health agencies? Foege dissects each element for clues as to why the task force was able to accomplish so much so quickly, ultimately concluding that coalition-building played a major role and explaining how to strengthen coalitions by scrupulously avoiding the turf guarding and credit seeking that are so common to international endeavors. Inspiring and accessible, this brief book combines the distilled advice of one of global health's major leaders with the history of an iconic public health program.
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Table of Contents

Foreword, by President Jimmy Carter Introduction Chapter 1. The Plot Chapter 2. Immunizations in the United StatesChapter 3. Protecting the World's ChildrenChapter 4. How Productive Coalitions BeginChapter 5. Bellagio, March 1984Chapter 6. Organizing a Task Force SecretariatChapter 7. Heads of State Give Vaccinations in ColombiaChapter 8. Bellagio II in Cartagena, October 1985Chapter 9. After CartagenaChapter 10. Bellagio III in Talloires, France, March 1988Chapter 11. The Harvest of TalloiresChapter 12. Bangkok's Message for World LeadersChapter 13. The Summit for ChildrenChapter 14. After the Summit for ChildrenChapter 15. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and ImmunizationChapter 16. The Mectizan MiracleChapter 17. The Task Force for Global HealthChapter 18. LessonsAcknowledgmentsAppendix A. The Rockefeller FoundationAppendix B. World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of ChildrenReferencesIndex

About the Author

William H. Foege, MD, MPH, is emeritus presidential distinguished professor of international health at Emory University and an early consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is the author of House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox and The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor: My Years at the CDC. In 2012, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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