“Although advances in vaccines, nutrition and family health have dramatically reduced the number of child deaths in the past 50 years, nearly eight million children younger than five still die every year,” Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in this CNN opinion piece. She adds, “To me, this number is unacceptable, because most of these deaths could be avoided” by providing antibiotics, sterile medical supplies, or education on breastfeeding, as well by improving access to nutrient-rich foods and effective contraceptives.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presents an infographic on reinventing the toilet, as “2.6 billion people still don’t have a safe, affordable way to poop.” The Gates Foundation also includes links to a video and additional information about its work in sanitation (11/14).
The third annual World Pneumonia Day will be observed on Saturday. The following is a summary of several pieces published in recognition of the day.
In his Foreign Policy column, “The Optimist,” Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, responds to a speech to G20 leaders last week by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in which he “suggested that a financial transactions tax, alongside additional taxes on tobacco and carbon, could be used to help rich countries meet a global target of committing 0.7 percent of GDP to development aid.” Kenny writes, “The outlook is particularly grim in the United States, where traditional aid is on the congressional chopping block,” but “[t]he good news is that the United States (and, for that matter, everyone else) could be doing a lot more for development without spending more money — and in some cases even saving it.”
A Minnesota Daily editorial writes that a proposed nine percent cut in U.S. global health program funding “would drastically slow … progress and hurt development and advancement in other countries,” adding that “investing in the development of poor countries is good for everyone involved. When there are more highly educated, healthy countries, there is more prosperity for all.”
“Researchers are developing an electronic nose that would sniff out tuberculosis (TB) like a Breathalyzer detects alcohol, putting an end to current time-consuming tests and possibly saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year,” the Globe and Mail reports (D’Aliesio, 11/7). A team of Indian researchers is planning to have a prototype in hospitals by October 2013, after receiving a $950,000 grant on Monday from Grand Challenges Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the Guardian (Tran, 11/7).
The November 21 cover story of Forbes magazine profiles Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has focused its global health efforts on vaccine development and distribution, according to the article (11/21). Forbes also features an audio interview with article author Matt Herper, conducted by Managing Editor Tom Post, about Herper’s interview of Gates (11/4).
In this post in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Rick Leach, president and CEO of World Food Program USA, examines the empowerment of small-scale farmers to become active participants in the global economy as a strategy to tackle world hunger. Leach provides examples of successful initiatives…
“In a report about financing for development delivered [Thursday] at the G20 Summit, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, urged leaders to commit to increasing the pool of resources dedicated to development, or risk causing irreparable damage to the livelihoods of millions of the poorest people,” a Gates Foundation press release states (11/3). “Gates’ report to G20 leaders, whose countries account for 85 percent of the global economy, suggests they can raise over $250 billion (180 billion euros), a modest part of which could accelerate the development of poor countries,” Agence France-Presse reports (11/3).
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is expected to tell G20 leaders on Thursday that tightening foreign aid budgets amid the current economic crisis “is counterproductive and pointless,” the Toronto Star reports. “‘Aid is a small investment that generates a huge return. Those are precisely the investments we should spare when it’s time to make cuts,’ he says in prepared comments seen by the” Star, according to the newspaper.