Gates Foundation Addresses ‘Health Problems of World’s Poorest,’ Opinion Piece Says
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is "pursuing what you might call the venture capital model of progress" in its attempt to address "the health problems of the world's poorest," columnist Sebastian Mallaby writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. The foundation, which is the "world's largest private giver," is "packed with formidable talent, ... complements government donors" and -- with a $26 billion endowment -- "can take more risks than taxpayer-based organizations," Mallaby says. For example, the foundation "devoted a large part of its efforts" in the fight against AIDS in Botswana to "show what could be done when financial constraints are removed: Can you treat people successfully in poor settings? Do you need expensive blood tests to diagnose patients?" Mallaby says. Although the World Bank and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria could never "get away with" concentrating on just one country, the "young and gloriously experimental" Gates Foundation can, Mallaby says, concluding that they have enabled other donors to "lear[n] from the Botswana experiment" (Mallaby, Washington Post, 4/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.