The U.S. Agency for International Development in Russia has awarded a $25 million grant to a group led by the Center for Communication Programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to help improve the health of Russians, a population with a sobering health burden that includes high rates of tuberculosis and a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In addition, mounting data show that unhealthy lifestyle choices in Russia, such as smoking and alcohol abuse, are leading to increased illness and death. The health of women and infants is also in decline, and the current Russian health system is not geared toward prevention.
The Moscow-based project, Healthy Russia 2020, will create a membership organization of health stakeholders to advance USAID's goal of fostering a health-competent society. Specifically, USAID wants CCP and its partners to help Russian institutions use communication programs to promote a healthier lifestyle for young Russians, reduce HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, control the spread of tuberculosis, and improve the health of women and infants.
CCP and its partners, the Futures Group International and Analytical Sciences Inc., will be joined in the five-year project by diverse collaborators that include Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Project HOPE, IREX, the Center for Association Leadership, the American Red Cross, the Public Health Foundation and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
"Healthy Russia will assist Russian organizations reach young people and other key groups through strategic communication with positive health messages," said Carol Peasley, director of USAID/Russia. "We believe the CCP team and its Russian partners will save lives and improve the health of thousands of Russian families."
In addition to the work produced by the new Russian nongovernmental organization, the CCP team will create a Healthy Russia 2020 Web portal and help develop partnerships to further the project's goals. Activities will include mobilizing support from policy-makers; disseminating and advocating state-of-the-art, evidence-based medical practices among the medical and governmental establishments; and educating the public about healthy behaviors.
With representatives in more than 30 countries, CCP is a pioneer in the field of strategic, research-based communication for behavior change and health promotion. To find out more about CCP, go to www.jhuccp.org.