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Gates Targets Diseases in Poor Nations
January 31, 2003

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone."
‚Ä"Bill Cosby


Redmond, Washington neighbors of ours (well not exactly the same neighborhood), Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged $200 million in grants for efforts to eliminate malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases of the poor. In commenting on this program, Bill Gates observed, "It's just a basic fact that 90 percent of the world's health-research money is spent on 10 percent of the problems. Conversely only about 10 percent of medical-research money is spent on diseases and conditions that make up 90 percent of the world's health problems....Of the 1500 new medicines that have been approved in the last 25 years, only 20 of those have related to the diseases of the developing countries."

According to a story reported by the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation intends that this project will inspire medical students and researchers to think more about how they can improve human conditions. Possible research projects include looking into novel ways to prevent and treat HIV; making mosquitos incapable of transmitting malaria, dengue, and West Nile virus; and protecting children from life-threatening diarrhea and respiratory infections. Gates cited the development of vaccines which could be stored at room temperature, allowing preventative treatment in areas without refrigerators. 

To learn more about the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, go to www.gatesfoundation.org.

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