“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.”
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.)
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.
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.”
During a special baptism, Pope Francis made headlines when he urged mothers to feed their hungry infants, sending a global – and lifesaving – message in support of public breastfeeding. In fact, every year an estimated 800,000 children under five die because of poor breastfeeding practices, a statistic that rarely gets in the news.
Read the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog to learn more and share your thoughts on what can motivate media, politicians and celebrities to provide leadership on this topic.
This video is amazing. I know I ramble a lot about social justice causes, but think about it.
Are we going to stop at 99%, just because the 1% is too hard to deal with? Because 99% is a good enough figure to stop at?
Because we have made this far, and that’s good enough?
No, lets end polio (the remaining 1%) because children shouldn’t have to worry about disease, because children in third world countries have the same right as I had when I was a child growing up in a first world country.
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
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.
The Gates Foundation spends more on global health every year than most countries
The foundation’s money has undeniably been a huge boon to global health efforts. But because the private organization is so wealthy and large, some researchers have argued that it wields a disproportionate influence on global health — with little accountability.
A New Vaccine in the Long Battle Against Malaria
- Produced by Jen Poyant, The Takeaway
Malaria kills about 780,000 people a year, and most of them are children in Africa. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made eradication of the disease a top priority. On Tuesday, the organization touted the results of a study that showed a vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline protected nearly 50 percent children from severe malaria. As far a success rates for vaccines go, those are not the best odds, but even that amount of protection would save millions of lives over a even just a decade of use. And the news does indicate that scientists are on the right path toward eventually preventing malaria.
But Nathan Ford, medical director for Doctors Without Borders warns about the possibility that by focusing too much on this promising research, the global donor community might forget about the standard preventative measures, like mosquito netting and spraying, that still need to be funded until a vaccine is 100 percent effective.