Eurasia Health Project
CSIS has a productive recent history of U.S.-Russian engagement on Health. In February of 2005, a task force on HIV/AIDS was established to examine the issues related to the spread and containment of HIV/AIDS throughout Russia and Eurasia. In October of 2008, with a three-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the Global Health Policy Center was created to bridge the foreign policy and public health communities and offer a strategy for U.S. engagement on global health. The efforts of Judyth Twigg and Andrew Kuchins contributed to the formation of the Health Working Group that is currently a part of the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and Russia & Eurasia team continues to work closely with both government-to-government efforts and non-governmental efforts through the health working group of the Civil Society Summit process.
Events and publications have been devoted to increasing dialogue on four critical areas for Russia and Eurasia: the challenges of global health partnership and leadership, infectious disease surveillance, chronic disease prevention and management, and health systems reform. These core focus areas have prompted follow-on studies related to health diplomacy initiatives in Russia as well as a new research project on the role of Russia as a legitimate and major source of international aid in the health sector. Russia is aggressively trying to graduate from its status as recipient of health aid to become an exclusive donor of health aid.
There are still significant challenges for Russia: combating its demographic challenges, poor health profile, and attempting to balance the competing imperatives of high quality, equity in access and affordability, and the containment of health care costs domestically. How Russia reconciles this with its partner status in the international health community is an area of similar vulnerability for the United States and reveals an opportunity for increased partnership between the U.S. and Russia.