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24 March 2015

Be Bold: How Gavi Will Immunise Another 300 Million Children

Source: Impatient Optimists

A challenge stands before us: ensuring immunisation of the world’s poorest children. If we, as global citizens can meet it, we will help protect the lives of millions in places too poor to afford vaccines. Despite remarkable progress made by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in helping to immunise half a billion children since 2000, nearly one-in-five children are still missing out, such that every year, 1.5 million still die from vaccine-preventable diseases. This Vaccine Alliance – created by a group of bold individuals – helped to arrest stagnating and declining immunisation rates by coalescing the strengths of UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others to achieve what no single agency could.

18 March 2015

How to Fight the Next Epidemic

Source: The New York Times

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed more than 10,000 people. If anything good can come from this continuing tragedy, it is that Ebola can awaken the world to a sobering fact: We are simply not prepared to deal with a global epidemic. Of all the things that could kill more than 10 million people around the world in the coming years, by far the most likely is an epidemic. But it almost certainly won’t be Ebola. As awful as it is, Ebola spreads only through physical contact, and by the time patients can infect other people, they are already showing symptoms of the disease, which makes them relatively easy to identify.

18 March 2015

Share the risks of Ebola vaccine development

Source: Nature

There are hundreds of infectious diseases out there that people could catch. More than 300 such conditions were discovered in the second half of the twentieth century alone. And how many of these diseases can scientists and clinicians protect against with a licenced vaccine? Fewer than 30. Those are not always the biggest killers, or the most terrifying. Vaccine development is driven not by the risk that a pathogen poses to people, but by the economic pay-off. Given the difficulty of the science involved, how much money will it take to develop the vaccine? And given the size of the market, how much money can we make by selling it?

06 March 2015

Bill Gates: Why I'm betting on the Gulf to help fight extreme poverty and disease

Source: Arabian Business

My wife Melinda and I recently published our new annual letter. The main theme of this year’s letter is what we’re calling our “big bet for the future”: that the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. That bet is grounded in our belief that the world is about to see major breakthroughs in certain crucial areas. One of those areas is health. Specifically, we believe that the global child-mortality rate will go down by half, and that more infectious diseases will be eradicated than ever before. The people and governments of the Middle East have a vital role to play in determining whether the world will make good on this bet.

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