Bill Gates on Why Global Health Must Be a Global Priority
Since 1983, J.P. Morgan has hosted an annual healthcare conference to unite industry leaders, fast-companies, innovative technology creators and people willing to invest in these technologies. Though the company is known for being a global leader in financial services, J.P. Morgan has made global health a priority by donating nearly $200 million a year to nonprofits globally, leading volunteer services and using its access to capital to help local communities suffering from poverty.
J.P. Morgan has made the following its core values:
- Corporate responsibility
- Health initiatives
- Strengthening communities
- Environmental sustainability
In January 2018, Bill Gates made an appearance at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference to discuss his thoughts. At the conference, Gates’ speech discussed recent progress in global health and what else still needs to be done. Initially, he pointed out how global health has been the focus of his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for the last eight years. He explained how child mortality has decreased by 50 percent and credited new vaccines to reducing deaths due to rotavirus, pneumonia and malaria.
Afterwards, he expressed the need for more innovation, explaining how funding research is the most elementary step in improving global health. He mentioned the current gap between the tools that are currently available to eliminate stubborn diseases and poverty and the tools that are needed, explaining that the only solution is innovation. He emphasized how “the tools and discoveries companies are working on can also lead to breakthrough solutions that save millions of lives in the world’s poorest countries.”
He concluded his speech by emphasizing the need for more research into preterm births, as they account for half of newborn deaths. It has also become clear that a child’s nutrition and the microbiome in their stomach, or rather the interactions between the two, are the largest factor in determining the child’s survival rate. The best solution to this is ensuring that children have the proper ratio of microbes in their stomach, a problem Gates and his partners have started to tackle.
Gates and his foundation have always made global health a priority. They work with partners globally to improve the following five program areas:
- Global health, which focuses on developing new tools to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria and HIV.
- Global development, which aims to finance the delivery of high-impact solutions, providing people with healthy, productive lives.
- Global policy and advocacy, which promotes public policies and builds alliances with the government, the public and the private sectors.
- Global growth and opportunity, which works to break down economic barriers in an effort to lift people out of poverty.
- U.S. programs, which focuses on ensuring all students graduate from high school and have the opportunity to go to college.
Thanks to Bill Gates, his foundation and the J.P. Morgan healthcare conference, investors and advancements will continue to increase, alleviating the burden of global poverty and improving global health.
– Chylene Babb