Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates has been dedicated to ‘enhancing healthcare and reducing extreme poverty’ in his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for several years now. Gates pledged to give 95% of his wealth to the foundation (and that’s a lot of money considering he’s the world’s second wealthiest man with a net worth of $63.4 billion), in order to fight diseases in third world countries and improve education and information technology in the US.
Gates’ annual letter from the foundation talks about the progress the organization has made in the past year, as well as the current state of the world and his goals to improve it. His main goal at the moment is to eradicate polio globally. Gates writes, “Polio eradication is a top priority for the foundation, a primary focus for me, and a powerful example of the importance of accurate measurement”. Gates believes that the hardest part of his mission is to wipe out the final thousand cases of polio in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, due to the strict security restraints enforced on the workers who are trying to vaccinate the population. In fact, the nine people administering the vaccine in December in Pakistan were murdered. He said:
It is unimaginable to me why health workers, whose only goal was to improve children’s health and end polio, were targeted. In my eyes the victims are heroes, and the best way to respect their memory is to finish the job they gave their lives for.
Hopefully the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will overcome these issues and achieve their goal of wiping out the final cases of polio once and for all.
“My annual letter this year makes the case for using a tool of business to improve the health and welfare of more of the world’s people.”