GHAI was launched seven years ago with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies to support civil society organizations advocating for public health policies that reduce death and disease. We help local partners build on their own capacity to lead and sustain policy advocacy. We currently work in more than 30 countries in diverse political systems. Our programs include Cardiovascular Health (funded by Resolve to Save Lives), Child Drowning Prevention, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, Food Policy, Preventing Epidemics (funded by Resolve to Save Lives) and Road Safety. This year, we started new projects on preventing zoonotic diseases, with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and preventing violence against women, funded by the Rotary Foundation.
Our history is rooted in one of the most successful public health campaigns — tobacco control. Twenty-five years ago, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was created to take on Big Tobacco. Victory was hardly certain in a world where Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man were accepted cultural icons attracting and addicting new generations of smokers. Guided by our commitment to health and social justice, and dedicated to smart, tenacious advocacy in support of proven public policies and programs, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids helped change the conversation in the United States and lower the national teen smoking rate by 84%.
This progress provided a model for addressing the global tobacco epidemic. Over the last 15 years, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has worked with local partners and allies in low- and middle-income countries in every region and in diverse political contexts to adopt effective policies to help prevent over 35 million premature deaths.
Building on the successes and lessons learned in the global fight against tobacco, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids launched the Global Health Advocacy Incubator in 2014 to strengthen advocacy capacity to improve public health around the globe.
We’ll be sharing our stories as part of the 25th anniversary celebration throughout the year—from profiles of global health advocates around the world to a virtual event in October that will share part of our history and where we’re going from here.