Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a five-year, $225 million initiative aimed at saving more than a hundred million lives by reducing heart attacks and strokes and helping low- and middle-income countries prevent epidemics.
Called Resolve, the global initiative comprises two programs: The first, Resolve – To Save 100 Million Lives, will focus on strategic investments in three key areas — increasing global control of blood pressure, reducing sodium intake, and eliminating artificial trans fats — to deliver rapid progress and help prevent a hundred million deaths from heart disease and stroke. The second, Resolve – To Prevent Epidemics, will help governments that have completed the World Health Organization's Joint External Evaluation (JEE) assessments implement and strengthen disease tracking systems; support laboratory networks so new and emerging threats are identified promptly; develop and support epidemiologists who track and investigate diseases and outbreaks; and develop rapid response teams working out of functional emergency operations centers with structured, effective incident management systems.
The initiative will be implemented by a team of health experts at Vital Strategies, a New York-based organization that works in more than sixty countries. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former commissioner of the New York City Health Department, will serve as president and CEO.
"There are proven strategies every country can use to prevent deaths from heart disease, stroke, and epidemics — but progress has been painfully slow," said Frieden. "I am deeply grateful to Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting efforts that aim to save more than a hundred million lives. Heart attacks and strokes are the world's leading killers — including of working-age adults. Lessons learned during the Ebola epidemic can reduce the risk of future epidemics. Each intervention is at a tipping point, and these investments will tip the scales in favor of saving lives and protecting health."