Gates to give $600m to fight TB

Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corporation chairman and co-founder, has said that his charitable foundation will triple its funding for tuberculosis eradication, pledging another $600 million by 2015.

    Gates is part of a group to eradicate tuberculosis

    The effort is part of a larger campaign announced at the World Economic Forum on Friday to stop tuberculosis worldwide.

    The disease claimed 1.6 million lives in 2005.

    The announcement on Friday came as Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Britain's treasury chief Gordon Brown and Gates called for help to treat 50 million people and prevent 14 million TB deaths globally in the next 10 years.

    The Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis was formed by the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership, a group of 400 organisations.

    Earlier funding

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already given $300 million to the fight against the disease.

    "I welcome the Gates Foundation's announcement today. For far too long, world leaders have ignored the global tuberculosis epidemic, even as it causes millions of needless deaths each year," said Brown.

    He also said he would add the issue to the G-8 agenda when the group meets in Moscow later this year.

    To fully implement the plan will cost an estimated $56 billion over the next decade - $47 billion for tuberculosis control and $9 billion for research and development - said Marcos Espinal, executive secretary of the partnership.

    SOURCE: AFP


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