Global Health Council
The Global Health Council is a United States-based non-profit networking organizing linking "several hundred health non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (NGOs) around the world to share knowledge and resources, build partnerships and together become stronger advocates for health". The Council is the world's largest membership alliance dedicated to advancing policies and programs that improve health around the world. The Council serves and represents thousands of public health professionals from over 100 countries on six continents. They work to address health concerns worldwide in five core issue "identified as critical to improving health and promoting equity" to "reduce disease and death in all countries":
  • Women's health
    Women's health
    Women's health refers to health issues specific to human female anatomy. These often relate to structures such as female genitalia and breasts or to conditions caused by hormones specific to, or most notable in, females. Women's health issues include menstruation, contraception, maternal health,...

Child health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Emerging health threats
    Health Threat Unit (European Commission)
    The Health Threat Unit of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection , is responsible for terrorism surveillance and early warning of biological, chemical, and radiological threats within the European Union...

The council sponsors international conferences, makes available a diverse field of multi-disciplinary specialists for media interests and policy makers. According to their website the Council "works to ensure that all who strive for improvement and equity in global health have the information and resources they need to succeed."


From its inception through the 1990s, the Council was principally funded by grants (primarily from the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID] and the Centers for Disease Control [CDC])." In 1998, Nils Daulaire
Nils Daulaire
Nils Daulaire is the director of the Office of Global Health Affairs for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, a position he has held since March 22, 2010....

, formerly of USAID, became president of The Global Health Council and felt that the council should be an independent voice. The council diversified its funding as a matter of principle, even though at the time its policy agenda was consistent with that of the then administration. By 2003, only 20 percent of the council’s funding came from the U.S. government."

As the council evolved, its name had to evolve to correctly reflect the scope of the Council's work. In 1998, the National Council for International Health became the Global Health Council to better represent its work in the 21st century. The inclusion of global in its name reflected the Council's goal to include more international organizations and individuals in its membership and become the preeminent non-governmental source of information, practical experience, analysis and public advocacy for the most pressing global health issues.

Since 1998, the Council has been organizing the Global Health Action Network in pursuit of its advocacy building goals." The idea is to establish groups of motivated citizens across the U.S. with the objective to educate local communities and their elected officials about the need for a more proactive approach to global health. With this network in place, the Council is able to implement nationwide advocacy campaigns dealing with vital global health issues.

As part of the Council's work in advocacy and developing awareness of the AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 crisis, the seventeen-year-old International AIDS Candlelight Memorial event came under their stewardship in 1999. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial has grown to include 1,500 communities in more than 100 countries. It is the world's largest and oldest grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 HIV/AIDS event.

The Global Health Council is continuing to grow as the voice for global health by using media outreach and its publications, including the Global Health Magazine ", its annual conference and its website to promote advocacy, education and information sharing.


The Council administers a number of prominent awards. Some of the recipients have been barred from traveling to receive them which has brought attention to their work. In addition to the following honorific awards the organization also confers the "Best Practices in Global Health Award" and the "Excellence in Media Award for Global Health".

The Jonathan Mann Award for Health and Human Rights

The Jonathan Mann Award for Health and Human Rights is named for former head of the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 (WHO)'s global AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 program, Jonathan Mann
Jonathan Mann
Jonathan Mann was a former head of the World Health Organization's global AIDS program.Mann was medically qualified, receiving his B.A. from Harvard College, his M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis , and the degree of M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1980.Mann was a key...

, who resigned to protest the lack of response from the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and WHO with regard to AIDS. In 2001, the recipient was Gao Yaojie
Gao Yaojie
Gao Yaojie is a Chinese gynecologist, academic, and AIDS activist in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Gao has been honored for her work by the United Nations and Western organizations, and has spent time under house arrest.-Biography:...

, a retired Chinese gynecologist and one of China's foremost AIDS fighters who helped poor farmers in Henan Province that were infected with H.I.V. through selling their blood at for-profit and unsanitary collection stations. Yaojie was denied permission to attend an awards ceremony in in Washington with Secretary General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 of the United Nations as her host.

In 2008, the Mann award was to be given to Binayak Sen
Binayak Sen
Binayak Sen is an Indian pediatrician, public health specialist and activist. He is the national Vice-President of the People's Union for Civil Liberties .He has been accused of sedition by the Chhattisgarh Government...

, a prominent Indian doctor responsible for drawing up one of the most successful community-based health-care models in India — based on the traditional mitanin, a health worker who advises the rural poor on preventive care — making health care available to many who had lacked access. He had been a vocal critic of the government's use of armed groups to push villagers out of mineral-rich forests to boost development and was jailed in April 2007 on sedition charges, including allegedly being linked to Maoist rebels and smuggling a letter for an accused Maoist prisoner he had visited. Sen denies the charges and his effort to get the award in person was bolstered by 22 Nobel laureates; he is out of jail on bail.

The Gates Award

Named for and funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family"...

, the Microsoft Corp. founder and his wife, the Gates Award ($1 million) is administered by the Council. In 2004 the award went to Fazle Hasan Abed and his organization, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), one of the "world's most successful development organizations, credited with improving the health and welfare of tens of millions of destitute people in Bangladesh". Past winners include the Rotary Foundation, which has raised millions for an ongoing global campaign to stamp out polio.

The winner of the 2009 Gates Award was awarded to The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a constituent college of the federal University of London, specialising in public health and tropical medicine...


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