Mankind is currently witnessing the fastest progress the world has ever seen in global health and poverty reduction, says the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in its 2017 Annual Letter released on Tuesday.
The release copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) explained that the 2017 Letter was addressed to investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet and celebrated the incredible progress made since 2006 when Mr Buffet made a gift of $ 30 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“His donation meant that the Foundation and its partners were able to invest in new technologies, solutions, and research that could save lives, help families, and reduce extreme poverty levels.”
For example, the lives of 122 million children around the world have been saved since 1990, 86 per cent of children worldwide received basic vaccines, and for the first time in history more than 300 million women are using modern contraceptives.
According to the statement, Bill and Melinda noted key improvements in some areas of development across the African continent. Mortality in children under the age of five, caused by pneumonia, diarrhoea, and malaria, has decreased by 54 per cent across sub-
Saharan Africa. (UNICEF)
The release said there was an increased access to information about reproductive health and innovative contraceptive methods meant more women have the power to make their own family planning decisions. 27 per cent of women now use contraception in sub-Saharan
“Extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa has decreased by 28 per cent since 1990. (UN),” the release said.
It indicated that in the specific case of Ghana, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had over the years, partnered with donors, governments, the private sector, and civil society to help Ghanaians live healthy and productive lives.
Since 2006 Ghana has experienced high immunisation coverage, significantly above the Africa region average.
Ghana also performs just slightly better than the sub-Saharan Africa average in terms of the neonatal mortality rate, the release stated.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy and productive lives.
In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.
In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
The Foundation, which is based in Seattle, Washington, is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Snr, under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.