Previous US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden said he will head Resolve, a new public health initiative focused on fighting heart disease and stroke which has already raised $225 million in backing from a handful of private philanthropies.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have joined in to fund the initiative.
Resolve plans to invest in efforts to reduce trans-fats from restaurant menus, which follows up on Frieden’s 2006 efforts to ban trans-fats as the New York City health commissioner. The initiative will also look to support efforts to reduce sodium and increase treatments for high blood pressure.
“If the world is able to increase our blood pressure control rate from the current 14% to 50%, reduce dietary sodium by 30% and get to 0 trans-fats, we can save 100 million lives from cardiovascular disease over the next 30 years,” Frieden said during a conference call with reporters.
The group will also look to aid the fight against infectious diseases, pushing to improve global capabilities to identify and respond to such outbreaks, and may make use of $1.2 billion granted to the CDC in 2015 to fight Ebola and earmarked for international efforts to fight infectious disease outbreaks.
Resolve looks to aid middle and low income countries abilities to respond to such outbreaks, with a focus on disease-tracking systems, laboratory networks and “disease detectives.”
“The Ebola epidemic revealed how vulnerable we are to threats, and was a stark reminder of the human and economic costs caused by the absence of strong public health systems,” Frieden said.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.