Gates Foundation pledges $250 million toward world health

The race to solve the world's most pressing health problems through science and technology received a $250 million pledge yesterday from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The latest amount brings to $450 million the Gates Foundation will award researchers to tackle 14 specific public-health challenges in developing countries — challenges ranging from the development of vaccines that need no refrigeration to creating a single staple crop to help alleviate malnutrition.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced the grant at the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva today. The Gates Foundation committed the initial $200 million in 2003 to its Grand Challenges in Global Health, an initiative to fight diseases that, while uncommon in rich nations, kills millions of people in poor countries. The foundation expects to award the first of the $450 million in grants late next month. Gates said that science and technology can be harnessed to achieve more groundbreaking advances in global health over the next decade than in all of the past 50 years.

News source: The Seattle Times

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