Giving public health professionals the tools to protect the public and save lives
Every year, millions of people around the world die from preventable causes. These causes of death, such as tobacco use, road traffic crashes, and limited access to emergency obstetric care, continue to jeopardize the health and well-being of much of the world’s population, despite proven solutions to prevent them.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public health program aims to combat these widespread health hazards by spreading proven solutions to protect more people and save more lives. Our Tobacco Control, Road Safety, Maternal Health and Obesity Prevention programs use effective strategies on the local and national levels to improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.
In each of our public health initiatives, we form partnerships with the world’s leading organizations to scale up proven interventions, and rigorously analyze data to create significant results. Our Data for Health program works with countries to strengthen birth and death data, so policymakers can analyze and use those data to inform their decisions.
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide, accounting for about 322,000 deaths per year. Over 90 percent of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and children 1 to 4-years-old are at highest risk. To address this, Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in a pilot program to identify potential solutions to reduce drowning and supporting drowning prevention interventions in high-risk areas.
Almost 300,000 women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth every year, and for every maternal death at least another 20 women suffer an injury or debilitating illness. Almost all maternal deaths can be prevented by ensuring that women have access to quality obstetric care and by preventing unintended pregnancies. Approximately 214 million women and girls in developing countries want to delay or avoid pregnancy, but are not using modern contraception. To help reduce maternal deaths and address the demand for reproductive health services, Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $62 million since 2006 to programs in Africa, Asia, and South America.
The tobacco epidemic is killing more than six million people every year, mostly in developing countries. If left unchecked, tobacco use will kill more than one billion people this century. The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use is working to implement proven tobacco control policies around the world. As a result, we are effectively curbing tobacco use and helping to protect against the harmful effects of tobacco.
Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes aims to combat this epidemic and push leaders to act. No amount of nicotine is safe for kids. While teen smoking has fallen drastically over the last 20 years by 70 percent, a new generation is at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes.
From 2016 to 2019, Mike Bloomberg was the World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. In this role, he focused on increasing global awareness of NCDs and injuries, and engaging political, economic, and health leaders to address these challenges through the Partnership for Healthy Cities and the Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health.
More than 1.35 million people die and between 20 and 50 million people are seriously injured from road traffic crashes around the world every year. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death and the number one cause of death among people ages 5-29. To combat this trend, Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed more than $260 million over 12 years (2007-2019) to work in low- and middle income countries and large cities that have a high burden of road-related fatalities. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, focuses on implementing key interventions proven to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries and advocating for stronger road safety legislation.
For the first time in world history, being overweight is linked to more deaths than being underweight. Obesity no longer only affects high-income countries, but is rapidly rising in low- and middle-income countries. Unless we intervene now, the number of deaths related to obesity will continue to rise, an avoidable tragedy that also places stress on national health care systems and economies. The Obesity Prevention Program is addressing the global epidemic by raising public awareness of the problem and supporting policies to prevent the rise of obesity in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, South Africa, and the United States.
70,000 people died in the United States in 2017 from drug overdoses. Over 47,000 of those deaths were from opioid overdoses – more than guns and car crashes.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is addressing this public health epidemic and saving lives by supporting high-impact, state-based interventions that can be replicated by other states and localities.
Most countries do not have high-quality data on birth, deaths, and risk factors for non-communicable diseases. These gaps provide major obstacles towards understanding and addressing public health. The Data for Health initiative will change that. The 8-year effort co-funded with the Australian government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will work directly with 25 developing countries to strengthen birth and death records as well as improve mechanisms for collecting risk factor data. The initiative will also ensure that countries are equipped to analyze and use this data to inform policy decisions.
More than 18 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease, despite the availability of effective, inexpensive, and safe prevention and treatment. The Resolve to Save Lives Cardiovascular Health Initiative aims to reduce the number of people dying from heart disease and stroke in low- and middle-income countries.