Bill Gates does it again

This time giving $900 million to fight tuberculosis.

Microsoft Corp.’s founder Bill Gates pledged $900 million to fight tuberculosis on Friday, kick-starting a $31 billion funding drive against a disease which kills one person every 15 seconds.

Tuberculosis has reached alarming proportions in Africa and other poor countries, where co-infection with HIV/AIDS makes a deadly combination.

“This is a very tough disease. It is going to take all of us –private sector, the pharmaceutical companies, philanthropy and governments in countries that have the disease — to participate as well,” Gates told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

This is on top of $258 million he donated for work on malaria, which is in addition to everything he does as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The $900 million is a good start, but they do note in the article that to really get a handle on TB, “…full implementation would cost an estimated $56 billion over the next decade.” That’s a long way to go, and with the other funding priorities the U.S. has, I don’t expect to see much of a donation on our part.

8 Replies to “Bill Gates does it again”

  1. tara, your blockquote apostrophes (eg corp) are messed up in western encoding on the browsers (fine in unicode). we you see fancy serif apostrophes and quotes check for that.

  2. Thanks. I’ve seen that before and usually catch it before publication, but I had to run to a meeting this morning and didn’t double-check it.

    afarensis–I did see that story but haven’t had time to look at the paper. Have another seminar in 2 hours…too many places to be and too much to do today!

  3. I am no great fan of Microsoft but all companies do this. (eg MacDonald’s children charities).

    Every company, from the corner “ma and pa” shop to the biggest corporations have a public image, good or bad. Many companies consider their reputation as an intangible asset (in some cases a liability) along with copyrights and patents which they may own because it is something that affects the price their share sells at and whether other companies want to do business with them. Since Microsoft is a controversial company (partly because of their own actions but not entirely) it would be negligent to their shareholders for them to not be doing philanthropic work. Why do those corporations which support public television get named between shows? Out of the gratitude of PBS program staff or because the respectability they receive is part of the deal for sponsoring these programs.

    It should also be noted that the Gates are taking an interest in what their money is used for instead of just dumping it into the highest visibility charities and causes.

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