Tuesday, January 25, 2005
OK, I admit it; there are good reasons to like Bill Gates.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $750 million over the next ten years to make vaccinations available to more children in developing countries. This contribution brings the Gates' commitment to childhood vaccination to $1.5 billion.
The funds will support the work of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), a partnership between governments and aid organizations that focuses on speeding development of new vaccines, strengthening vaccine-delivery systems, and improving access for poor countries. Julian Lob-Levyt, GAVI's executive secretary, says the grant will help the organization expand its efforts. "Strong immunization systems do not happen overnight," he notes. "Scaling up services and building up natural capacity on the ground requires long-term support."
GAVI was founded in 1999 with a five-year, $750 million grant from the Gates Foundation. GAVI says it has prevented 670,000 deaths since its inception and aims to vaccinate 90% of children in developing countries by 2015. Says Microsoft founder Bill Gates: "We can say very strongly we've never made a better investment."
[Thanks, BoingBoing, for the great photos! And, loyal readers of Toner Mishap, here's a link to the full story onYahoo.]