Dr Ghulam Ashraf's Blog

www.ghulamashraf.co.uk

Bill Gates in $10bn vaccines pledge for the poor

DAVOS, Jan 29: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $10 billion over the next decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world’s poorest countries, the Microsoft co-founder and his wife said on Friday.

Calling upon governments and business to also contribute, they said the money will produce higher immunisation rates and aims to make sure that 90 per cent of children are immunised against dangerous diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia in poorer nations.

“We must make this the decade of vaccines,” Bill Gates said in a statement. “Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.”

Gates said the commitment more than doubles the $4.5 billion the foundation has given to vaccine research over the years.

The foundation said up to 7.6 million children under the age of 5 could be saved through 2019 as a result of the donation. It also estimates that an additional 1.1 million kids would be saved if a malaria vaccine can be introduced by 2014. A tuberculosis vaccine would prevent even more deaths.

“Vaccines are a miracle,” said Melinda Gates. “With just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime.”

Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organisation, called the Gates’ contribution unprecedented and urged governments and private donors to add to the initiative.

“An additional two million deaths in children under five years could be prevented by 2015 through widespread use of new vaccines and a 10 per cent increase in global vaccination coverage,” said Chan.

The Gates statement said the foundation would help to dramatically reduce child mortality in the next 10 years and urged others to pitch in with research funding and other financial support for poor children. Gates noted the announcement comes on the 10th anniversary of the foundation’s partner GAVI Alliance.—AP

Source: Dawn News

Advertisements

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: