Gates Foundation pledged US$ 750 million to set up Gavi in 1999.
The Foundation is a key Gavi partner in vaccine market shaping.
Bill and Melinda Gates’ realisation in the late 1990s that rotavirus was killing half a million children every year was one of the events that led them to set up their Foundation in 1994.
“Bill Gates often tells the story of reading a newspaper article about the leading causes of childhood death, including rotavirus. How is it possible, he wondered, that a disease that now kills 600,000 children per year is the focus of so little attention and investment?” recalls Dr Tachi Yamada, former president of the Foundation’s Global Health Program.
Since then, vaccines have become the Gates Foundation’s biggest investment.
The realisation that children in developed countries had access to vaccines while children in developing countries were dying for lack of them prompted the Foundation to invest as a founding partner in Gavi.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
About the Author: Vittorio Roncagli
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