Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / The future of Russia and the world: estimates and projections / Articles
"As army for the war": bill gates calls to prepare for global epidemics
Material posted: Publication date: 10-05-2018
According to the founder of Microsoft, epidemics carried away in the last century hundreds of thousands of lives, now millions could die.

For many years bill gates looked into the future of health care with great optimism. However, something still bothers — and the possibility of a global pandemic.

Speaking at the April annual lecture, "Medical journal in New England" in Boston, the founder of Microsoft told the audience: "given the fact that all the time new pathogens, the increased risk of bioterrorism, and due to the fact that from one place to another to get becomes much easier to grow and the chance of extensive deadly pandemic — and it can happen even with us."

It is worth remembering the Spanish flu pandemic, which broke out 100 years ago. In just five weeks, this kind of flu has killed 675 000 Americans. By the end of 1918 from the Spanish flu died 50 million people. According to the simulation conducted by the Institute of epidemiological modeling in Washington state, in the case of the spread of such disease in our time, over half will die about 33 million people.

Gates acknowledged that the balance is easily upset: "When we watch Hollywood thrillers, think that our world is fully ready to protect yourself from deadly infections. In fact, however, during major outbreaks of communicable diseases normal public health infrastructure is crumbling rather quickly. This is especially true for poor countries. But in the event of a pandemic or widespread bioterrorism event, even in the U.S. our efforts to combat the consequences thereof would not be enough".

Gates urged the public to work together to coordinate actions to prevent such disasters around the world and noted that this would require a system for early detection, a more advanced scientific base and a quick response.

The billionaire said that according to the directions of the projects. Last year was established by the Coalition on the developments in the field of preparation for epidemiological threats. The initiative attracted funding of $630 million, its goal is to create the necessary research and technological base for the development of new vaccines not for a few years, and in a matter of weeks. The scientific center named Eli and Edith Brody in Massachusetts and the University of California in Berkeley are working together on particular types of analyses for the detection of zika virus and dengue fever on the basis of clustered short palindromic repeats, and rapid tests in the form of paper strips are like pregnancy tests. In March, the United States Congress entrusted the administration of Donald trump to develop a detailed plan to strengthen the global health system.

According to gates, "the world must be ready for a global epidemic as the army for war." He also called for the allocation of the reserve corps of the military and volunteers who will be trained to effectively dealing with the spread of the disease if necessary. The government, Microsoft founder strongly encouraged to conclude agreements on the production of medicines and compensation of costs with pharmaceutical companies, and the timing of consideration of applications for approval of such drugs proposed to reduce.

During his speech, bill gates said that specifically for anti-influenza a Charitable Foundation of bill and Melinda gates Foundation, together with Google co-founder Larry page has established a grant in the amount of $12 million for scientists who will be able to create a universal flu vaccine. The gates Foundation is already working with other organizations, such as the Federal Institute for the study of allergic and infectious diseases in Maryland. Scientists from this institution are testing a drug that next year, quite possibly, will test on humans. The billionaire assured the audience: "As I said from the beginning, I'm an eternal optimist and therefore I hope that we will be able to prepare for the next major epidemic."

The interest of the businessman to charity in the health sector, in large measure, spurred the world Bank report on world development, 1993. The report, according to the gates, showed that a huge percentage of deaths in developing countries are extremely modest list of diseases.

"At first I thought the problem is that we haven't created the necessary medication. And then I realized that effective drugs are already available, but you need to improve the system of delivery" — in General, gates realized that the healthcare system in the developing countries of Africa will be much more effective if antibiotics and vaccines will be delivered exactly where it is needed and as soon as the need arises.

So the bill and Melinda gates Foundation began funding development in health and now runs a charity "big". Spouses allocate funds for research and swift-flowing diseases like malaria, and delivery of medications such as pneumococcal or rotavirus vaccines to sick children in developing countries. As gates became interested in all this in the late 1990s, the mortality rate of children under five years decreased from 11.2 million cases in 1990 to 5 million in 2016.

Philanthropist billionaire explained: "it is With great enthusiasm that we take initiatives, thanks to which you will recover as much as possible the sick." Since its inception, the bill and Melinda gates Foundation is fighting malaria, polio, HIV, and tuberculosis. In some of these areas, the contribution of the gates were the key. For example, malaria, which only in 2012 was infected 207 million people and which claimed the lives of 600,000 of them, the organization has provided grants in the amount of $2 billion, and recently (last April the London conference on combating malaria) another $1 billion until 2023.

$1.6 billion charitable organization has provided to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and later for it has been allocated another $600 million for the period from 2017 to 2019. Every year before polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children in 125 countries — in 2016, cases worldwide were registered for a total of 40. In the past year the Fund has pledged to eradicate polio by the year 2020, $450 million

In April, "Medical journal in New England" published the results of long-term large-scale field trials funded by the gates Foundation. This study showed that in African countries South of the Sahara among children aged one month to five years who took azithromycin, there was a decline in mortality is 13.5%. This antibiotic is prescribed worldwide for the treatment of trachoma, a bacterial eye infection.

"The results have been astounding! To read this study, I suggest to all," concluded gates. These studies can be useful for the United Nations in achieving the goal of complete prevention of mortality from preventable diseases among children by 2030. The authors of the study, in turn, noted: in order to understand exactly how the drug helped to avoid death, further testing required.

Michelle Tinder

Translation Of Anton Bundeena


Tags: assessment , threat

RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics