Bill Gates finally got a Harvard degree yesterday, about 30 years after he dropped out to go fritter away his time playing with computer code. He also got the chance to exhort this year's graduates to work toward the greater good, applying their education and talents to solving some of the toughest social and economic problems in the world.
CGD Policy Blogs
Pop quiz: What disease killed John Keats at age 26, John Harvard at 30, Simon Bolivar at 47, Puccini's Mimi right after "Sono Andati?" - and now kills 4,400 people every day, most in the prime of their lives? Answer: TB, an ancient scourge whose current manifestations demonstrate both the highs and the lows of global public health.
The vaccine industry is looking healthier and happier than it has in years, according to The Economist, thanks to the combination of new science, new money and new recognition of the value of prevention. The advances in adjuvants - ingredients in vaccines that make the antigens go further and work better - and new ways to deliver vaccines without needles, such as nasal sprays mean that genuine innovations are hitting the market.
Perhaps as a build up to the Global Fund's second replenishment process, which is in full swing in Oslo this week, there has been quite a buzz about new money for the Global Fund moving its assets to over 10 billion dollars. Two weeks ago, the Global Fund announced that with its newly pledged historic contribution of US$724 million for FY07, the United States contributions and commitments now total at US$3 billion, which constitutes 29% of all paid in contributions and firm pledges. Japan has also stepped up to the plate with a recent contribution:
In the end, will the world-wide eradication of polio go down in the "grand success" or "dismal failure" side of the global health ledger book? That was the basic question faced by World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan and a host of polio experts at a conference held this week to review the international polio program's progress and problems.
Supporters of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines had much to toast this month as five countries--Britain, Canada, Italy, Norway and Russia--put forward $1.5 billion to support the first AMC for pneumococcal disease, the leading cause of childhood pneumonia deaths, and the second leading cause of childhood meningitis deaths worldwide.
What do you observe about mobile phones when you travel in Africa and Asia? It's not just that everybody is on their mobile phone; they are on their mobile phones all the time, messaging their way through their day. Capitalizing on this fast-spreading communication technology in the developing world, PEPFAR's latest foray into a private-public partnership to move information up and down the health service delivery chain is commendable.
Our friend and fellow blogger Christine Gorman has announced that she is leaving her position at TIME magazine at the end of this week, after 22 years. She's apparently caught the global health bug in a big way, and is going to pursue more learning, more action and (hopefully) more writing about how to tackle the great health and humanitarian challenges of our time. Christine will be an occasional contributor to TIME on international health and consumer issues, and has her own website.
Reuters reported Wednesday that a group of wealthy countries including Italy, Britain, Canada and Norway will announce in Rome on Friday a $1.5 billion advance market commitment to purchase vaccines to prevent pneumococcus, which kills more than a than a million kids each year in the developing world, through illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis.