Frist Expanding Work on Global Children’s Health Care Issues
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is increasing his work in health care advocacy, announcing on Thursday that he would spearhead a campaign for Save the Children to raise awareness among U.S. elected officials of issues afflicting children's health in the developing world, the New York Times reports.
Millions of infants and toddlers in developing countries die each year of ailments that can be prevented or treated at low costs, according to the Times.
Frist said, "We have tools that are inexpensive, reproducible and proven, yet they're not being applied."
Charles MacCormack -- president of Save the Children, one of the world's largest aid groups -- said, "We need people who can walk into prime ministers' and presidents' offices" to appeal for aid.
The organization is in the process of recruiting senior Democratic leaders to make its campaign bipartisan.
Frist and former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) are leading One Vote '08, a campaign funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to petition presidential candidates to address international development issues, including child survival.
The campaign is endorsing the Global Child Survival Act, a bill introduced this year that would increase the federal government's budget for child and maternal health to $600 million next year and $1.6 billion by 2011. The budget was allocated $356 million this year.
Frist said he plans to devote the next decade to improving the survival rates of children and mothers in the developing world and working with other retired lawmakers on global health issues (Dugger, New York Times, 9/7).