January 26, 2012

Bill Gates Adds $750M To Pot To Fight Disease

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday that his foundation would be donating $750 million to help fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Gates said in a statement that by supporting the Global Fund to Fight Aids, "we can help change the fortunes of the poorest countries in the world."

He said the funds could be used immediately to "save lives, whether it is bed nets (to protect against mosquitoes carrying malaria) or TB (tuberculosis) treatment, those are two diseases that don't get perhaps the visibility of the work done in HIV but they are every bit as important."

The Gates Foundation has already contributed $650 million to the Global Fund, making the total contribution now up to $1.4 billion.

The Global Fund is turning 10-years-old and is a private partnership that is said to be saving 100,000 lives a month.

The WEF's annual meeting is being held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos and includes 2,600 delegates in attendance, including world leaders, economists, and business chiefs.

The Global Fund has seen its share of controversy in its short 10-year existence, including reports of misuse of funds.

Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the fund, announced on Tuesday that he would resign in March, and former banker Gabriel Jaramillo will be taking his place.

Gates said that some corruption is inevitable in large-scale charitable endeavors like this, but it should not overshadow the good work of the Global Fund.

The charity has helped provide medical treatment to 3.3 million people, detected and treated 8.2 million people with tuberculosis, and provided 230 million bed nets to families to prevent malaria.

In total, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $26 billion to fund health, development and education projects.


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