[QODLink]
Europe
Gates unveils $10bn vaccine plan
Microsoft founder says charitable foundation's programme will aid developing world.
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2010 15:09 GMT
The Gates Foundation will have spent just under $15 billion on vaccines by 2020 [AFP]

Bill Gates, the co-founder of computing giant Microsoft, has pledged to donate $10bn over the next decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world's poorest countries.

In a statement made on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday, Gates said his charitable foundation "must make this the decade of vaccines".

"Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before."

The US billionaire said increased vaccination could save more than eight million children by 2020, though more money was needed and called on governments and the private sector to do more.

"Increased investment in vaccines by governments and the private sector could help developing countries dramatically reduce child mortality by the end of the decade," Gates concluded.

Melinda Gates, who heads the couple's Foundation with her husband, said: "We've made vaccines our number-one priority at the Gates Foundation because we've seen firsthand their incredible impact on children's lives."

Vaccine priorities

Since its inception in 1994, the Gates Foundation has spent $4.5 billion on vaccine programmes. The new $1 billion-a-year pledge is $200 million over its current annual outlay for vaccine work.

According to the World Health Organisation, some 79 per cent of children currently receive all three recommended doses of DTP (the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine).

A goal of Gate's foundation is to expanded funding is to raise that to 90 percent coverage.

Another goal is to get comparable vaccination coverage among children in the poorest nations for measles, HiB (Hemophilus influenza type B), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, and, after 2014, a 50 per cent effective malaria vaccine that's now in final human trials.

If those goals are met, Gates says, 8.7 million more children will avoid death from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.