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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $50m (£31m) to support the fight against the deadly ebola outbreak in West Africa. The money will go to the United Nations and international organisations attempting to bolster emergency efforts to contain the current epidemic, which has led to more than 2,200 deaths. "We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop transmission of this deadly disease," the foundation's CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann said in a release. "We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks."
“We know how to get agricultural productivity up, but not that much,” he says. “Jobs, unrest, education—a high population density makes solving all those problems harder.”
So in 1997, when he and Melinda first ventured into public health—their eponymous foundation would come into being in two years—they focused on birth control, funding a Johns Hopkins effort to use computers to help women in the developing world learn about contraception. The logic was crisp and Bill Gates-friendly. Health = resources ÷ people. And since resources, as Gates noted, are relatively fixed, the answer lay in population control. Thus, vaccines made no sense to him: Why save kids only to consign them to life in overcrowded countries where they risked starving to death or being killed in civil war?"