Dr. Bill Gates (Co-Chair, Gates Foundation) gave a speech at Japan Society NYC about global health, providing equitable access around the world, and the challenges brought on by a pandemic.
Read the full video transcript below:
DR. BILL GATES: Good morning! It’s great to be here talking about our progress and challenges in global health & new initiatives to accelerate this work.
I especially want to recognize Prime Minister Kishida and the governor of Japan for bringing the G7 nations and so many public & private funders together behind two powerful efforts.
First, Triple I for global health and second EMCM delivery partnership for equitable access. We do need increased investment in global health. Between 2000 and 2015, Global Health made incredible progress by every measure.
Key statistics, like the number of children dying under five were cut in half, fully achieving the millennium development goals. So following on from that, the sustainable development goals driven by the United Nations set an ambitious target to cut childhood of death in half again.
But, as you know, a variety of challenges emerged that we hadn’t expected. Starting with the pandemic, but war, economic conditions, lack of stability in some locations. So it’s been a big challenge.
And since 2015, our progress on health metrics has largely plateaued. And so if we step out and say, ‘Okay, how do we get back on track?’ We see that we need both upstream innovation and new products. And then we need downstream innovation in our delivery systems, including the ability to finance those systems.
If we just looked at one disease, malaria, we need cheap diagnostics, cheap bed nets. And the bed nets can never stay the same because we get insecticide resistance.
So now the first generation of nets is moving over to a dual insecticide approach. That was a challenge in terms of the price. But now with bond commitments, we’re able to get that price down and we have many new generation of nets coming along.
We need a vaccine, a third generation vaccine that has significant significant duration.
Across all of our diseases, we need these tools. They have to be very effective and very inexpensive. And so the spirit of Triple I where we engage the private sector is critical to this future progress.
Of course, that includes the pharmaceutical industry. Japan has had a very pioneering effort, drawing in manufacturers to apply their incredible expertise to the greatest needs in infectious diseases in developing countries.
For pandemics, we need new tools. Things like environmental surveillance needs to be done on a constant basis, so we’re never caught off guard again.
The ability to make diagnostics, literally billions of diagnostics in a few months, that can be very cheap and very accurate. That’s absolutely necessary to avoid the difficulties of the next pandemic.
We need a worldwide network of vaccine manufacturing capacity. There have been recent advances funded by the (Gates) Foundation and others to allow us to have mRNA vaccine factories at various levels of capacity at a very low cost and able to make low cost vaccines.
As we pull all this together, the surveillance, the global health core, the diagnostics, the antibody capacities, a variety of things, if we’re faced with a pathogen like COVID, we will do dramatically better.
In fact, every country should do better than even the very best countries did. Global health has a huge impact on countries.
The human development of not only avoiding deaths, but also solving malnutrition problems gives you, your basic human capital that allows your country to move forward.
So we have to rededicate ourselves to regaining progress. To achieve ambitious goals like the eradication of polio, and make sure this preparedness is available everywhere.
Thank you to everybody engaged in Triple I. It’s going to be a new tool that’ll help us accelerate work in this incredible cause. Thank you!
– Bill Gates’ NYC speech took place at the Japan Society Business & Policy Forum. The event was titled: “Toward more Resilient, Equitable and Sustainable Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030”
Description: – “Equitable Access to Medical Countermeasures (MCMs) and Impact Investment Initiative (Triple I) for Global Health”
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