Gates Foundation

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A health center in Southcentral Ethiopia that provides 24/7 emergency care to over 5,000 people living in rural areas. The health center is where many women deliver their babies, where you can get contraception (including Depo implants), and where a variety of illnesses are tested and treated. There’s also a lab with a hand-cranked blood centrifuge and a microscope where a lab technician types malaria and pneumonia infections.

In the first photograph, you can see Abdul, who leads this health center, explaining local disease rates to Bill Gates.

The second photograph gives you a sense of the health center itself (which has no running water and very little electricity). The third picture is the view from the health center of the huts where nearby families live.

The bottom picture charts under-5 mortality since 2004, when these health centers opened (along with the more rural health outposts, which I posted about here). The red line is Ethiopia; the gray line the world average.

In 2004, more than 11% of children born in Ethiopia died before five; today, it’s less than 7%. And as you can see, every year since 2004, the under-5 mortality rate has fallen faster in Ethiopia than it has in the world overall. Now, correlation doesn’t prove causation, but both the patients and health workers I spoke to agreed these rural health centers are working. 

(It’s also worth noting that Ethiopia’s under-5 mortality rate has dropped far faster than other nations, even those that spend much more on health. In Nigeria, for instance, 12% of kids still die before the age of 5; Pakistan, which is far richer than Ethiopia, has barely seen its under-5 mortality drop at all in the past decade. So the world has a lot to learn from Ethiopia’s health investments.) 

In a 2010 public lecture, Bill Gates attributed global warming to “overpopulation” and touted zero population growth as a solution achievable “[i]f we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, and reproductive health services.”94 The argument is disingenuous: As Gates certainly knows, the poor people who are the targets of his campaigns are responsible for no more than a tiny percentage of the environmental damage that underlies climate change. The economist Utsa Patnaik has demonstrated that when population figures are adjusted to account for actual per capita demand on resources, e.g., fossil fuels and food, the greatest “real population pressure” emanates not from India or Africa, but from the advanced countries.95 The Gates Foundation is well aware of this imbalance and works not to redress it but to preserve it – by blaming poverty not on imperialism but on unrestrained sexual reproduction “in places where we don’t want it.”


From Malthus to the present day, the myth of overpopulation has supplied reliable ideological cover for the ruling class as it appropriates ever greater shares of the people’s labor and the planet’s wealth. As argued in Aspects No. 55, “Malthus’s heirs continue to wish us to believe that people are responsible for their own misery; that there is simply not enough to go around; and to ameliorate that state of wretchedness we must not attempt to alter the ownership of social wealth and redistribute the social product, but instead focus on reducing the number of people.”96 In recent years BMGF’s publicity apparatus, exploiting Western alarm about “climate change,” has helped create a resurgence of the overpopulation hysteria last experienced during the 1970s in the wake of Paul Erlich’s bestseller The Population Bomb.97

—  The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation, IV. A Broader Agenda

Jacob Levich

Melinda Gates Just Basically Told Anti-Vaxxers to Check Their Privilege

“We take vaccines so for granted in the United States,” Gates explained during a news segment on the matter for HuffPost Live on Thursday. “Women in the developing world know the power of [vaccines]. They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine because they have seen death.”

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Naming Babies: A new video about health care in rural Ethiopia, meeting Bill Gates, and how sometimes bureaucracy can be very beautiful indeed.

The Gates Foundation

The L10K Project, which helps provide support to rural health extension workers like Yetagesu and Abdulkadir.

When Emelin was 13, she asked the mayor of her rural Guatemalan town to find ways to help girls stay in school and get better health care. He laughed out loud. “You are wasting my time; you should go home,” he told Emelin and her friend Elba, who had come with her.

That was then. On Tuesday of this week, Emelin, now 15, spoke by invitation at the United Nations in the “Every Woman Every Child” program presented as part of the Commission on the Status of Women. She sat — and spoke — alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, about the obstacles girls face in her community and how she and Elba persuaded the mayor to implement and fund policies that would help.

Meet The 15-Year-Old From Rural Guatemala Who Addressed The U.N.

Photo credit: Misha Friedman for NPR

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Bill Gates wanted to make a viral video with us tonight, but we ran out of time…

Injection-free vaccinations developed with the help of the Gates Foundation | The Verge

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Researchers have proved that “injection-free” vaccines are an effective tool in the fight against diseases. The team, based in King’s College London and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, used dried sugar to create a microneedle array — a tiny disc that only lightly perforates the skin. The dried sugar, which was laced with a proposed HIV vaccine, dissolves when inserted in to the skin, effectively delivering the vaccine and kick-starting an immune response. The method is far less invasive than conventional vaccines that are delivered via a hypodermic needle.

MSF Access: Dear GAVI Campaign

The ‘Decade of Vaccines,’ the global vaccination initiative for the next ten years, is estimated to cost US$57 billion, with more than half going to pay for the vaccines themselves. In 2001, it cost $1.37 to fully vaccinate a child against six diseases. While 11 vaccines are included in today’s vaccines package, the total price has risen to $38.80, largely because two expensive new vaccines – against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus – have been added, which make up three-quarters of that cost. They are only produced by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Merck. Newer vaccines are significantly more expensive: vaccinating a child against measles costs $0.25, while protecting a child against pneumococcal diseases costs, at best, $21.

Help MSF and send GAVI a message on Twitter asking for them to open up their lower prices to non-governmental organisations and humanitarian actors like MSF now.

CLICK HERE TO SEND A TWEET.

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So how do communities with limited electricity and running water in Ethiopia reduce infant mortality and dramatically improve newborn and maternal health?  With a system designed by Ethiopians for Ethiopia, and a lot of amazingly dedicated health extension workers and volunteers. (The tier system is explained in the first picture.) I’m obviously no expert, but from what I could tell the nonprofit funding worked precisely because it was helping people execute their vision, rather than trying to impose a strategy upon them.

Today, I visited a health center and then a health outpost, a small structure with no electricity serving a community of around 5,000. The Outpost (picture two) was staffed by two women who can do everything from treat malaria to deliver babies. They have a detailed and systematic approach (those files in picture three contain information about every family in their area), but they rely on the volunteer Women’s Health Care Army to provide education, prenatal care, and family planning assistance, among many other things, to every family in the area. It was fascinating to start my journey at a facility that can do Caesarean sections and then follow the health care system into individual residences, where a woman can talk directly to someone she trusts about prenatal vitamins, contraception, and breastfeeding. 

The health challenges here in Ethiopia are massive, obviously, but these volunteers are a big part of the reason that Ethiopia’s infant and maternal mortality rates are dropping so dramatically.

You’ll meet several of them in a forthcoming video, but I just wanted to share the amazingness of today’s experience.

The Scholastic project found that teachers are desperate for more support. Three kinds rose to the top: more involvement from parents, more engagement from school leaders and higher quality materials to use in the classroom.

The teachers who took the survey were given a list of 15 things that might help to retain the best teachers. Higher salaries ranked 11th on the list, behind benefits like more time for preparation and opportunities for professional development.

(via Bill and Melinda Gates on Teacher Evaluation - WSJ.com)

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Mental Floss:
13 Inventions and Innovations Creating a Better Future for Women

I am unbelievably honored to have been asked to help write and host this episode of Mental Floss with support from The Gates Foundation! 

It’s true that some of these inventions can help both men and women, but the reality is they all either inadvertently or indirectly help humanity as a whole. A world where women have access to proper sanitation, safety, and healthcare creates a society and culture where every voice can contribute. We are kidding ourselves if we think the world is running at its full potential if only half of its population can participate in decision-making, where people are held back among their peers because they lack the types of resources that are afforded to developed countries.

If every woman had access to sanitary pads, birth control, inventions to ease the strain of daily activities, and proper birthing and childcare resources, imagine the productive impact that would have on our world as a whole. We need all voices.

“When women and girls are empowered, we’re not just better by half. The world is twice as good.”

#black excellence  #black achievement

IPS high school student receives prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarship

Alex Dunlap, 16, gets full ride through doctorate

by Tanya Spencer

INDIANAPOLIS - A Broad Ripple High School student is one of only 1,000 students in the country to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship .

The scholarship – funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – covers a full ride to any college or university in the country, all the way through a doctoral degree if the recipient chooses.

At 16, Alex Dunlap is poised to graduate Broad Ripple Magnet High School a year early in May. She knew all her hard work had paid off when she got the letter announcing her scholarship.

[Continue reading article of watch news report of the announcement at The Indy Channel.]

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I made a video about the stunning decrease in infant mortality, the benefits of foreign aid (at least when it’s health aid), and other topics discussed in the annual letter from Melinda and Bill Gates.

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Do you believe every girl and woman deserves the opportunity to determine her future? Then check out this video from the Gates Foundation and take the pledge to support family planning for the millions who need and want it.

It Turns Out That Fighting Polio Is Good Training To Fight Ebola

Nigeria has been a stubborn hot spot of polio — and that turned out to be a good thing when it came time to fight Ebola.

In late July, a patient with the deadly Ebola virus arrived from Liberia. Health workers knew what to do. The country has created a massive public health effort to wipe out polio; institutions and strategies were repurposed to fight Ebola.

On the other hand, anti-polio efforts in the countries hit hardest by Ebola are on hold — and that could lead to disaster.

First, the good news, from Nigeria.

One of the country’s polio institutions is an emergency operations center run by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. At the request of the government, senior officials from the center were sent to Lagos to help set up an emergency operations center for Ebola.

Because of the anti-polio efforts, health workers in Nigeria were ready for Ebola. They had already been trained in contact tracing. And hospitals had procedures in place for reporting polio cases, says Jay Wenger, head of polio efforts at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides financial support to NPR as well as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

“How you organize a team, how you collect the information, how you collate the information and make it available, is all part of the deal with polio,” says Wenger. “They just transferred some of those techniques to the Ebola response." Nigeria was declared Ebola-free the second week of October.

There’s a lesson to be learned, says Wenger: it’s a good idea to have resources and trained personnel capable of dealing with more than just a single disease. "Both polio and Ebola are examples of diseases we can handle if we have the adequate kind of health systems around,” he says. “We need to do what we can to strengthen the health systems in many underdeveloped countries.”

But it takes time to create such systems. That means bad news on the polio front in the three countries with the highest Ebola counts.

Continue reading.

Photo: A child receives a polio vaccine during National Immunization Days in the Nigerian city of Kano. (Diego Ibarra Sanchez /Courtesy of Rotary Foundation)

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“Bearing witness is a form of action.”

Writer and activist Sisonke Msimang shares her story about the power of listening.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is set to unveil funding a sum in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a campaign to improve access to contraception in the developing world.

The exact amount will be announced at a summit of world leaders and aid organizations in London on Wednesday, but in an interview with Reuters, Melinda Gates said the commitment would be “on a par” with the foundation’s other big programs, like that against malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis.

In January, the foundation pledged a further $750 million for that fight on top of $650 million contributed since the fund was set up 10 years ago.

READ ON: Gates Foundation to pledge funds for contraception