MSH hosted its first Congressional Education Day with leaders from our largest country offices including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti, and South Africa on April 10, 2014.
For many, this was their first time meeting with Members of Congress and their staff and they were excited to share how US global health investments are saving lives of women, children and families in their countries. Having physicians, project directors, and advocates share first-hand stories of their work provides a much-needed perspective for congressional leaders to learn the success of health programs in local communities, as well as the challenges.
The MSH country leaders had meetings with 18 congressional offices and had the chance to talk to some Representatives and Senators personally.
While the Country leaders did not lobby for any specific legislation or funding requests, they discussed in detail how US support, both financial and technical, is critical in reducing maternal and newborn deaths; achieving an AIDS-free generation; providing family planning services; and strengthening health systems in fragile states.
Ana Diaz, of MSH Angola, noted that: "these meetings are hard to get and they really force you to think hard about how you are going to grab these people’s attention quickly."