US philanthropist Bill Gates yesterday announced he will donate over us$500m to fight malaria and other infectious diseases in the developing world, saying the Ebola outbreak is a call to action.
Gates also said that in addition to that pledge, his foundation has boosted its annual funding for malaria by 30%.
The Gates Foundation announced in September a us$50m commitment to help fight Ebola.
Gates described the Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 4,900 people in West Africa since the beginning of the year as a “critical moment in the history of global health,” and said the world’s largest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever underscores the need for stronger efforts to stay ahead of disease threats such as drug-resistant malaria and dengue fever.
“The Ebola epidemic has shown, once again, that in today’s interconnected world, health challenges anywhere create health challenges everywhere — and the best way to overcome those challenges is to dedicate ourselves to the great cause of reducing the global burden of infectious disease,” Gates said in his prepared remarks.
The more than US$500 million announced yesterday includes over us$150 million to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to advance development of next-generation malaria vaccines, and us$29 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative to support malaria elimination efforts in Southern Africa and the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia.