Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | Leader: Aid to Africa

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | Leader: Aid to Africa: "The Gates way

Wednesday January 26, 2005
The Guardian

Researchers at Cardiff University have concluded that Monday of this week was the most depressing day of the year. Yet this Monday might - just possibly might - prove to have been a turning point in the fortunes of the most deprived of the world's continents. Monday was when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $75m a year for 10 years to the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation (Gavi) which Mr Gates helped to set up in 2000. It was an act of philanthropy of the highest - and most cost-effective - kind which will save hundreds of thousands of young lives in the developing world, especially Africa. In 2002, around 10.5 million children under five died, of whom 1.4 million perished from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines. The timing is coincidental, but the Gates initiative is a reminder that even the death toll after the tsunami, horrific though it was, is on a lesser scale than this most preventable of scourges. "

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