Microsoft’s co-founder, former CEO and ex-chairman Bill Gates is determined to end malaria in his lifetime and will commit more than US$500m this year in the quest to do so.
As reported by Global News, Gates unveiled his plans in an interview with the Associated Press ahead of his speech at a health conference in New Orleans yesterday.
Gates is preparing to push the malaria programme budget of his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to more than US$200m per year – a 30pc increase. This includes plans to develop a vaccine to combat the disease. In all, the foundation will spend more than US$500m this year to fight various parasitic diseases in poor countries, including pneumonia and diarrheal.
“If we commit to investing in all of these approaches, I believe that we can eradicate malaria in the next generation,” Gates said.
“Let me put it this way – I just turned 59 the other day. If we can’t get rid of malaria in my lifetime, I’d be very disappointed.”
The Ebola crisis
Gates also addressed the recent Ebola outbreak, asserting that the conference comes “at a critical moment in the history of global health”. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated US$50m to help fight and contain the deadly disease.
The conference comes just days after fellow Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced he was committing at least US$100m to tackling Ebola. The 61-year-old made the announcement in a statement via his website and has called on the global community to follow suit.
“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” said Allen.
“To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, co-ordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem.
“I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis,” he wrote.
Bill Gates image via Shutterstock