Golden Press

Gates Lend A Helping Hand for Women’s Health World-Wide

Taken June 10, 2010 by Jarondakie Patrick, Columbia Heights in D.C.

On Monday Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $1.5 billion to help improve women’s health and children along with the United Nations. The donation was announced at The Women Deliver 2010 Conference in Washington, DC. The donation will fund a program that does not concentrate on one or two things like AIDS or nutrition. The Gates are looking to broaden the initiatives. 

In her speech at the conference, Gates said: “The world must come together to save women’s and children’s lives. In poor countries, pregnancy and childbirth often end in tragedy.”

The three-day conference brought together 3,500 participants from 140 countries making it the largest maternal gathering on health ever. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shared his thoughts on the new program that is being implemented. 

“The women and children are always last in line for health issues,” Ban said. “It’s just morally unacceptable … This is a real human rights issue.” 

Ban and Gates decided on a comprehensive approach to help women deliver babies safely and plan healthy families with access to contraception. The program working its way through 2014 would also incorporate current vaccination and nutrition programs. 

Not only is the program willing to lean on developed countries and non-profits, but as well undeveloped countries. Ban says undeveloped countries should donate 15 percent of their national budget to health issues. 

The foundation set up by the Gates provides inital grants of $94 million for work in India and $60 million for Ethiopia. Some groups that have already been funded by the money are Save the Children and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. 

The Ethiopian government had opened 15,000 clinics and hired 30,000 visiting health workers previous. This initiative of making health a priority may be the reason they were the second country to receive a grant in the millions.   

Governments and non-profits are not the only ones expected or interested in getting involved. World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala hopes her institution could work with Gates on the program. 

The program is expected to find solutions affecting women and girls world-wide. 

This is something new from previous health issues the Gates Foundation has worked on and they hope that their efforts will help start a global movement of effort.


June 12, 2010 - Posted by | Health

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