Gates pledges $363 million to fight neglected tropical diseases
January 30th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Gates pledges $363 million to fight neglected tropical diseases

Less than a week after the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it would give $750 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the foundation has pledged $363 million to target neglected tropical diseases over five years.

The Gates Foundation, along with 13 pharmaceutical companies, the World Bank, other global health organizations and the governments of the U.S., U.K. and United Arab Emirates, announced the effort Monday. It's called the London Declaration on Neglected Diseases.

The goal is to eliminate 10 neglected tropical diseases by the end of the decade by expanding the drug donations, providing about $785 million to support research and development, and efforts to address treatment.

The diseases include Guinea worm, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), blinding trachoma (an infectious eye disease), sleeping sickness and leprosy, soil-transmitted helminthes (intestinal worms), schistosomiasis (parasitic infection), river blindness, Chagas disease (parasitic disease) and visceral leishmaniasis (sandfly infection).

The 13 pharmaceutical companies have signed on to donate an average of 1.4 billion treatments, such as tablets to treat elephantiasis, donations to treat sleeping sickness, and drugs to treat worm infection.

In the past, drug companies have been accused of ignoring tropical diseases in favor of developing drugs targeted towards first-world health problems.

The participating drug companies are:  AstraZeneca,  Abbott, Bayer HealthCare AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb,  Eisai, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline,  Johnson & Johnson, Merck, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi.

“Our members and researchers around the world applaud this unprecedented level of international cooperation to improve the lives of the 1.4 billion people around the world who are disabled, blinded and suffer needlessly from neglected tropical diseases,” according to a statement released by American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

As part of the effort against neglected diseases, the Gates foundation has pledged $23.3 million toward eradicating Guinea worm.  The foundation named after Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, has invested more than $100 million in the effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease.

Guinea worm is a debilitating disease which is only in three countries.  If eradicated, the Guinea worm disease would become the second disease wiped out by mankind.  The first is smallpox. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation will together contribute $40 million to end Guinea worm disease by 2015, the Carter Center, based in Atlanta, Georgia, announced Monday.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center have led public health efforts tackling neglected diseases most Americans have never heard of.  The Carter Center began its campaign to get rid of the Guinea worm in 1986 and have come closer each year to eradicating the disease.

The disease remains in three sub-Saharan African countries: Mali, Ethiopia and Southern Sudan.

In Sudan, a war is waged to eradicate the 'fiery serpent'

Unlike smallpox, the Guinea worm disease is not fatal. But there is no treatment for it and there's no vaccine to prevent infection either, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This disease can, however, cause permanent disabilities to people, crippling their livelihood and local economies. The key to eradicating the disease is access to clean water and changes in people's behavior because the parasitic Guinea worm lives in stagnant water. When a person drinks the contaminated water, the worm grows inside its human host for a year until it emerges through the skin, causing great pain and in some cases, infections.

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. annavladidi

    Анализ воспитательной работы за 2010-2011 учебный год
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    на радиодетали http://skachat-all2012.narod2.ru/zakupka_radiodetalei_na_zoloto/

    January 30, 2012 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shunya

      from what i have heard and read from people who have lived on celgole campus. Party is the number 1 activity , drinking , coed dorms, i guess social skills and friendships will be made. People cheat , dont go to class and still graduate. If i am a parent paying thousands of dollars for my childs education, and now i see a way of saving a large sum of money, by doing what Bill Gates predicts, sounds good to me. I am sure many schools will always exit, school like MIT and Stanford. But nothing stays the same. You can always join the Military or the peace corps if you want to build bonds. That will cost a lot less . Join your local Jcc or Mcc. and you will meet all kinds of people and have long and short relationships.

      August 1, 2012 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
  2. John Gabriel

    This is where your stolen taxes go – somewhere in Africa. The 1% continue to enact laws in their favour while the American people are poor, hungry and jobless.

    January 30, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 98%er

      Are you an idiot? Did you even read the story? The money for these programs is being donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – its a private non-profit charitable organization. If you boneheads in the "99%" would pull your heads out, you might actually do something good in the world. I'm guess I'm a 98% person – I don't have millions of dollars but I don't have all day to sit in the park and participate in drum cirlces either.

      How 'bout this – instead of sitting around complaining about people who have money, why don't you take that time and go earn some for yourself? That would be a lot better for everyone than having you sitting in a public park doing nothing all day, having our public works guys and police have to sit there and monitor you all day long. THAT's a waste of taxmoney...

      Furthermore – pharmaceutical companies are for-profit insitutions as well, and can charge (to a large extent) whatever they want for their drugs, to whomever they want. You want cheaper drugs? Move to Africa – and see how you like it. The water is infested with nasty parasites and warlords may kill your family at any time but hey – health care is a lot cheaper than the US! Wow! Those people have all the luck... Sidewinder26 – you are an idiot also.

      January 30, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      Ok... two things @ 98%: 100-1 = 99. The 99% is what the occupy movement is talking about.
      Two, the complaint is that the 1% are getting tax breaks. Bill Gates is one of the 1%. He is getting the tax breaks. You and I are paying at a higher rate. So... in stead of Bill paying, you and I pay more taxes. Thus, our tax dollars are still in his pocket. And now... Bill is giving it to Africa. You and I could give it to Africa too, but we don't have it. Bill has it.

      January 30, 2012 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • JDSPAC

      You are talking very ignorant.Gates still pays the $ amount of taxes that probably 100,000 average wage earners in the US pay COMBINED. The 1% pay 49% of ALL tax revenue. The Top 25%( AGI over $65K) pay 86% of all the tax revenue. If anything these are the people that are paying way more than their fair share. This whole play on the % of income paid in tax is just like a dealership focusing on "I'll get you into this car for $300/month" instead of the actual price you are paying for the car

      January 31, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • Coug9

      Wow.........you are very misguided and wrong. If an individual wishes to spend millions of dollars helping the poor ANYWHERE.....awsome! The poor in our country have it so freakn good. I have been to many 3rd world nations, and we do NOT know what suffering is!!!!! So stop whinning and blaming "the rich" for your petty troubles. You can't buy a new Toyota?? Can't affor a new 60" LED tv?? =-( tear........my eyes are crying for you......... WAKE UP!!!! YOU are NOT poor, and you do not know what it is like to truly be hungry.

      January 31, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Coug9

      @Geoz: Bill Gates earns his wealth from Capital Gains, which was already taxed when he invested it (even before the 15% rate). Educate yourself before making ignorant comments and making yourself look "stupider".

      January 31, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • Spelunker4Plato

      Um... This is the information that's pertinent to the original post.


      February 19, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • bankherald

      Nice to see all the money that Bill Gates made is going to help the people of Africa. It's truly a blessing that this guy puts his money towards humanitarian efforts and not worrying about profit all his life.

      March 22, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  3. sidewinder26

    I just saw a quick segment on CNN regarding Bill Gates and pharmaceutical companies working together to help fight unpopular diseases in foreign countries. While on the one hand I think this is wonderful commitment from a wonderful man, a comment made during this segment bothered me. The comment was that the pharmaceutical companies would charge full price (how is that price decided) in the US and this would cover the cost of the discounted rates that would be charged to these countries. In this day and age when costs for health care in the US is out of control I wonder if this is a prudent way to fund these areas outside the US. We have many people in the US suffering due to unemployment and lack of affordable health insurance and health care.

    January 30, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • alienmom

      You and gabriel must have skipped reading comprehension.Or maybe you only understand DONATE when it applies to you.Try again boys read it again.Idiots!

      January 30, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Paola

      Cand stii foarte cpreis, asta deja inseamna determinare, claritate, hotarare.Nu mai incape loc de ar trebui, as vrea Astea se transforma in trebuie si vreau.Cel cu pistolul in ceafa, n-as spune ca debordeaza de hotarare si stapanire de sine; ceilati doi fac si ei ce pot, ca n-or fi in stare sa convinga altfel 🙂

      March 5, 2012 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
  4. mongopoo

    Bill needs to reduce his tax exposure.

    January 30, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Manen Ah Aydah

    Bravo! This is great news. These diseases cause untold suffering and are one (if not the primary) cause of many of the region's scocio-economic ills. It's in the long-term interest of all of us to increase the productivity and efficiency of these areas and their large populations. This will do some to help address the proverbial '10-90' rule: 10 percent of the problems get 90 percent of the funding. This is the 'low hanging fruit' of the health world, and this investment could end up making a huge and powerfully positive difference in millions of lives, and ultimately pay dividends far in excess of the investment.

    January 30, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. todd

    Bill will be able to live happily with his decision alot better than giving it to some undeserving stock market company. But Zune they charge my credit card automatically and when I call for refund they say no way too bad.. I'm not happy with Zune

    January 30, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Ted75zcar

    I can only hope that if I was as well off as Gates, I would contribute to the betterment of mankind in the same way.


    January 30, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. jeff d

    So on one hand Bill Gates says Global Warming is the biggest problem we currently face and that Humans are the primary culprit and there's too many people on Earth. On the other hand he want's to improve peoples lives worldwide so they liver longer and healthier. I'm confused. Unless these vaccinations actually are making people sterile (global depopulation) than this sounds like a huge conflict of Bill's interests.

    January 30, 2012 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      At the turn of the century and before, it was not clear that there would be enough food for the united states as well as much of the world. Many people have contributed to providing solutions to the problem, clean water and sanitation were just as much culprits. So using your logic, it's quite possible you would not be here to make your uncanny assessment without the thoughtfulness of those before you. Pay it forward, and use your intellect to forge solutions. We have enough critics that have no insight or drive to be a part of something larger than themselves.

      January 31, 2012 at 04:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Anonymous

    They are just "good and caring" people...truly GREAT humanitarians...oh, wait, didn't it just read that Microsoft and GE will be partnering up for the health care initiative as promised by them? hmmmm....but it's probably just mere coincidence and mere timely donation...

    January 30, 2012 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Shawn

    For the Gates, I give my two thumbs-up, salute and standing ovations. Very generous! Hope it'll better the conditions of the Africans.

    Health is very crucial today. Here is a site that will give you info about nutrients needed to be healthy: http://eatrightamerica.com

    January 30, 2012 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. sambo umar

    Attention should given to vaccination programmes and health education

    January 31, 2012 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. sambo umar

    Attention should given to vaccination programmes and health education for diseases.

    January 31, 2012 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. sambo umar

    Attention should given to vaccination programmes and health education for the diseases.

    January 31, 2012 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ian Monam

    You have to hand it to Bill Gates. He has made an awful lot of money, but he has given a lot away. He is one of the 1% who seems to care about someone other than their accountant.

    January 31, 2012 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Riswanda

      I would spring on the fancy gates, bascuee you're going to have them for a while with two little ones. The cheap ones wear out fast. I love the kind that are more like gates that you can walk through. I wish our metal walk thru gate was wider to walk through though, it is hard to carry laundry baskets and baby carriers through them. +6Was this answer helpful?

      August 2, 2012 at 01:32 | Report abuse |
  15. Kerry

    Good job. We need less suffering in the world. Mankind suffers enough causing their own problems. Nice to see the 1% doing something to alleviate some what nature throws at us.

    January 31, 2012 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Steve

    98%er, I don't think you should be calling anyone an "idiot".

    January 31, 2012 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. beentohellpal

    Yes. And imagine how much you'd love him if he invented a F%$#ing iPhone....

    January 31, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kyle

    Times are tough for most Americans right now. Trust me, I'm 25 years old and supporting my family of 5 and I don't have any kids of my own. But maybe it's because I was born in Africa and saw so many people dying of these diseases and being ignored that I honestly have no problem watching my tax money going to cure these diseases whether directly or indirectly. I obviously can't speak for everyone because I know that there alot of people out there that have it alot tougher than I do. But in the grand scheme of things, I have no problems working a bit harder to keep my family afloat knowing that I'm doing a small part to help.

    Additionally, America is a country were free health care is far more available to the public than most of these countries. So like I said, I don't speak for everyone but I appreciate the work of charities such as Bill and Melinda even though it costs me a little extra.

    Maybe it's because I don't know much about the politics of it all that I'm saying this so it could be that I'm simply rambling about nonsense. In which case feel free to ignore me 🙂

    January 31, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Steve

    98%er, I just read your comment again, you really irritate me. I've got this great idea you "bonehead/idiot", why don't you move to Africa?

    January 31, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. AhhPures

    Dear Mr. Gates, could you please donate something to cure Herpes.
    Thank you,
    90 million Americans.

    January 31, 2012 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Samuel (Sam) Getaneh Bogale Kathy Stumm-Bogale

    What an incredible philanthropist – tackling issues both at home and abroad!

    January 31, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Gary

    Wow, some people will complain about anything. Bill Gates is trying to eradicate diseases around the world and you complain about whether or not he is paying enough taxes?? Apparently you do not know anybody with devasting diseases for which there is no cure. My son had Cystic fibrosis, Gates donated $20 million to the CF foundation for research and development of possible cures. Today the FDA approved a the first drug aimed at correcting the underlying defect that causes CF. So while Gates is giving money to help cures to diseases like my son's or others around the world, many of you complain that he is not paying enouogh taxes. Shame on you.

    January 31, 2012 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Larry johnson

    I's nice to have billions like gates and buffet.But i think they should learn birth control first.I. Have ALS there is no cure.
    You don't here about giving money to the ALS foundation they have to have all kinds of fund raising for research.
    Come on gates and buffet help us out!!!

    January 31, 2012 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply


    January 31, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
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