Azara Blog: Gates Foundation gives malaria research grants

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Date published: 2005/10/30

The BBC says:

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates is donating £28 million to a UK university as part of a £145m ($258.3m) gift to malaria research worldwide.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting three international projects over five years.

One project at the Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will look at ways to control the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Others will look for new malaria drugs and environmentally-safe insecticides.

Mr Gates said malaria was a "forgotten epidemic".

"Millions of children have died from malaria because they were not protected by an insecticide-treated bed net, or did not receive effective treatment," he said.

"If we expand malaria control programs, and invest what's needed in research and development, we can stop this tragedy."

Good for Gates, and this is not the first such donation (of course it doesn't excuse his crappy operating systems). Needless to say poor-country diseases are (understandably) not top of the pile for rich-country corporations (or even rich-country governments), so this kind of money is important. It would be even better if some of this money could support research directly in the countries affected (e.g. Indonesia) because it would be better if these countries, rather than rich-country academics, could set priorities, and it would also have other long-term benefits (e.g. not having to hand over money to other countries for drugs, etc.). Of course the academic track record in most of these countries is poor, but you have to start from somewhere.

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