Gates foundation saves 122m children in 25 years with donor funds

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 13: Businessman Bill Gates speaks to reporters at Trump Tower, December 13, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP<br />Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

With donations from philanthropists like Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 122 million children’s lives have been saved since 1990 from childhood vaccine preventable diseases.

Bill and Melinda Gates in their 2017 annual letter titled “Warren Buffett’s Best Investment,” just released said their target is “Zero malaria. Zero TB. Zero HIV. Zero malnutrition. Zero preventable deaths. Zero difference between the health of a poor kid and every other kid.”

The Gates concluded: “Polio will soon be history. In our lifetimes, malaria will end. No one will die from AIDS. Few people will get TB. Children everywhere will be well nourished. And the death of a child in the developing world will be just as rare as the death of a child in the rich world.”

Bill and Melinda Gates said their dear friend, Warren Buffett, in 2006 donated the bulk of his fortune to their foundation to fight disease and reduce inequity. “A few months ago, Warren asked us to reflect on what impact his gift has had on the world,” they said.

They explained: “If we could show you only one number that proves how life has changed for the poorest, it would be 122 million—the number of children’s lives saved since 1990.’’

“Every September, the United Nations (UN) announces the number of children under five who died the previous year. Every year, this number breaks my heart and gives me hope. It’s tragic that so many children are dying, but every year more children live.

“More children survived in 2015 than in 2014. More survived in 2014 than in 2013, and so on. If you add it all up, 122 million children under age five have been saved over the past 25 years. These are children who would have died if mortality rates had stayed where they were in 1990.

The Gates said the link between saving lives, a lower birthrate, and ending poverty was the most important early lesson they learned about global health.

“This is why reducing childhood mortality is the heart of the work for us. Virtually all advances in society—nutrition, education, access to contraceptives, gender equity, economic growth—show up as gains in the childhood mortality chart, and every gain in this chart shows up in gains for society,” they noted.

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