Friday, January 27, 2012

Blog # 2 Gates Injects $750 Million in Troubled Global Fund

 At the World Economic Forum Bill Gates pledged to donate $750 million dollars to the Geneva- based Global fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  Mr. Gates stated that even though these are hard economic times there should be no excuse for cutting aid to the worlds poor.  Since the fund was founded it has provided 230 million bed nets to families to prevent malaria, antiretroviral treatment to 3.3 million people, and treated 8.2 million people with tuberculosis.  Mr. Gates donated such a large sum in order to show his support to the troubled fund, and in hopes of bringing in more donations.  As of late the fund has been accused of losing tens of millions of dollars due to corruption.  Mr. Gates has firmly backed the public-private fund stating, “It has changed the lives of many of the worlds poor through its prevention and treatment programs in 150 countries”.   Naoto Kan, the former prime minister of Japan who donated $1.3 billion to the fund, claimed that even though the European debt crisis has seriously affected the fortunes of the global fund it does not make its significance any less.  The Global Fund claims to be working on becoming more transparent to show that it is held accountable for its actions and they have nothing to hide. 
            It is important that private corporations like Bill Gates, continue to support and fund global health because the government alone cannot solve global health epidemics.  It has been estimated that more than four million people die each year from either AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis.  Without the help and support from these private-public funds developing countries would have even fewer resources to help their poverty stricken citizens.  Providing aid to countries, such as Africa, creates an opportunity for its people to live a longer and healthier life.  With a healthy population more effort can be put forth by the people into creating a prosperous economy, better education, and better living conditions.  It is like the old saying goes “health is wealth”.  On the other hand it seems that no big corporation, foundation, government, or non-government organizations goes without corruption.  With the Global fund being accused of losing millions of dollars it is hard for people to trust that their money is actually being used to benefit those in need.  Without this trust no one will want to donate money, especially in a struggling economy, to the fund and the progress that has been made could potentially be lost.  It is vital that global health funds are transparent with all of there actions so that health services can continue to reach those in need.  

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