State of the Union: Top Takeaways for Global Moms

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January 13, 2016

Moms and others who care about the health of women and children around the world had a lot to listen to in last night’s State of the Union address from President Barak Obama.

Ranging from ending malaria, climate change, inequality, refugees and support for global health, the president’s address was significant.

A Healthier World for All

President Obama pointed out the world’s continued fight against HIV and AIDS – noting successes and promising that getting rid of malaria once and for all will be a national foreign policy priority. The eradication of malaria has been a long-sought goal that many global health professionals feel is a realistic one if there is enough political will and funding.

“Right now, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS, and we have the capacity to accomplish the same thing with malaria — something I’ll be pushing this Congress to fund this year,” President Obama committed.

The President also praised American leadership “on issues of global concern,” specifically highlighting the Ebola crisis.

“That’s how we stopped the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Our military, our doctors, and our development workers set up the platform that allowed other countries to join us in stamping out that epidemic,” the president said.

Embracing and Honoring Refugees

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In First Lady Michelle Obama’s box, in a nod to the Syrian refugee crisis, Dr. Refaai Hamo was a special guest. Dr. Hamo’s life in Syria was torn apart when a missile destroyed his home and killed seven family members, including his wife and one daughter. He fled to Turkey, was fighting stomach cancer and recently received refugee status, moving to Troy, Michigan. The president wrote in response to his story, told by Humans of New York, “Welcome to your new home. You’re part of what makes America great.”

Spirit of Discovery to Tackle Climate Change

President Obama spoke at length about alternative energy sources, creativity and ingenuity around finding cleaner ways to power our society and economic success. Echoing U.S. commitments and leadership at the recent climate conference in Paris, the president said we need to tap into the “spirit of discovery” in order to solve some of “our biggest challenges.”

He committed the final stages of his administration to do exactly that. “We’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future  —  especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels.” That’s encouraging news for all of us.

Take Action Challenge

What were your thoughts on the State of the Union address? What’s the most important thing to you for moms and children around the world?

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