Attaining proper health care for women and children around the world is one of the biggest issues we face today. Fortunately, Bill and Melinda Gates know this too. Melinda Gates recently announced that she and her husband would be focusing their philanthropic efforts on improved health care for women and children to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars over the next five years.
A recent article from New York Times discusses the Gates’ announcement and what this could mean for women and children around the world. In the past, when contributing to health issues, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded vaccines, H.I.V. and AIDS research, as well as infectious diseases. One of the main reasons Melinda Gates gives for focusing their attention on women and children is that a lot of their health concerns are easy to fix. During the Women Deliver conference in Washington D.C. she talked about how pregnancy and childbirth needlessly end in death and tragedy in many countries around the world when this can be prevented at a "stunningly" low cost.
A lot of the money the Gates Foundation intends to donate will go to training health care workers, finding ways to treat hemorrhage in laboring mothers, and improving medicine to treat infections in newborns. Secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, spoke at the same conference about the health concerns women and children are facing. Ban said, "We are seeing a global movement for an end to the silent scandal of women dying in childbirth."
Though progress has been slow, there are reports that the current efforts to stop women from dying in childbirth is finally showing some progress. This past April it was reported that 342,900 women died during pregnancy and childbirth as compared to the 526,300 in 1980. It is also being predicted that 7.7 million children under the age of 5 will die this year. To most of us this number sounds unacceptable and tragic, but it is a much better number than the 1990 statistic which shows a death toll of some 11.9 million children under the age of 5.
What do you think of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation giving 1.5 billion to mothers and children?
I hope the Gates can stand up to the GOP!!
I hope we get to 0 infant deaths and 0 maternal deaths. In addition to educating health care workers, Bill and Melinda Gates should fund programs that help women and girls learn to read. This has been shown to reduce maternal mortality as well and it has a great influence on reducing violence.
Bill and Melinda are an inspiration for us all. I believe we should follow in their footsteps and see how much we can give back!
My family and I have been so proud of Bill and Melinda! Does anyone remember a few years back when they and Bono were chosen as Time magazine's "People of the Year"? The three of them were working in Africa on AIDS/HIV prevention, as was Jimmy Carter. I love to see their examples as well as their focus on these important issues. We have friends and family members who already work in and support African orphanages and are excited to see more media attention on this.
Isn't it wonderful what these people have given back. God Bless them!
We need to protect the women and children throughout the world. Especially the children. They are our future.
I am glad that their hearts are in the right place. It takes an amazing person to help others. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has made some amazing donations that have impacted many lives. They are a blessing and more people should follow in their footsteps!
They are just great role models, especially for giving. They understand that being rich is not the end all and be all. They having been giving large forever. All rich people should take a note! Good for you, Bill and Melinda Gates. You are inspiring.
Thank you Bill and Melinda Gates.
I think that is amazing of them! Women have the most tests done, the most health problems and worries. It is about time something is done to help women and children, thank you Bill and Melinda Gates!