Bill Gates is a celebrated name when it comes to the field of health and science. And there is no reason why it should not be. The Gates Foundation is the largest private philanthropist foundation in the world. Its scale of contribution and charities is outstanding, with over $42.9 billion. Let us have a sneak peek into the life of Bill Gates, a name that consistently emerged as the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people and the world’s third-richest man.
Who Is Bill Gates?
When you say Microsoft, there is one name that emerges; Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, an American technology company. He led the company as chairman and CEO until January 2000, when he stepped down from his position. In March 2020, Gates left his board positions at Microsoft for good.
Born on October 28th, 1955, William Henry Gates III is an American businessman. The man brags many attributes to his name; software developer, investor, author, landowner and philanthropist. Bill Gates is the co-founder and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2000). The man has also founded other companies, but Microsoft and Gates Foundations are his signature trademarks.
Though a dropout of Harvard University, Bill Gates made landmark achievements in computer software technology. His name remains among the best entrepreneurs of the microcomputer revolution of the 70s and 80s. In June 2006, Gates cut back his duties at Microsoft and tended full time to the Gates Foundation in a quest to embark on humanitarian activities all around the world.
Today, Bill Gates is a renowned name in health, scientific research, climate preservation and clean energy resources.
The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates was highly inspired by the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. In 1994, he donated some of his Microsoft stocks and created the William H. Gates Foundation. After six years in 2000, Gates and his wife Melinda merged three family foundations to form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation was recognized in 2013 by the Funds for NGOs Company 2013 as the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation. Its assets were estimated to be about $34.6 billion. The charity principles of the Gates Foundation are based, to some extent, on Rockefeller’s philanthropic approach. The primary aim is to target the most urgent of humanitarian crises that governments overlook. The unique thing about the Gates Foundation is that they allow benefactors access to the details of how the donated money is spent around the world.
The Mission Statement Of The Foundation
Bill and Melinda believe that every life has an equal value. That is exactly what their mission statement is. When working outside the U.S., the foundation strives to provide better health facilities and empower them to lead a hunger and poverty-free life.
While working in the U.S., the foundation endeavours to provide resources to make their lives better in any way, either via education scholarships or more. The foundation grants funds to learning institutes and libraries and supports scholarships at universities in the U.S.
The Functional Fields Of The Gates Foundation
There are five fields that the Gates Foundation works around:
- Global development division
- Global health division
- United States division
- Global policy division
- Global advocacy division
The foundation also caters to sectors of global growth and opportunity and gender equality in addition to the above.
Milestones Covered by The Gates Foundation
While the achievements of the Gates Foundation are many and beyond the scope of the article, their efforts in upgrading the health status of people in developing countries are commendable.
The team efforts of the organization have worked hard to fight neglected diseases and boost vaccination rates in children. The foundation is working arduously to bring the rate of infectious disease and chronic diseases to the elderly cohort.
The foundation funded huge in establishing the GAVI Alliance and contributing to enhancing the immunization rates globally.
The foundation has supported a wide range of public health projects. It includes tasks like providing aid to fight transmissible diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to initiate extensive vaccination drives against polio. According to Melinda, one of the foundation’s most outstanding achievements has been to create new vaccines for diarrhea and pneumonia (two common causes of childhood deaths) and cutting back on their prices and the lag time to bring the vaccines into the market.
Also, the Gates Foundation has focused its resources to provide water, sanitation and hygiene programs in developing countries. The purpose is to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of public hygiene and establish sustainable sanitation services in such countries.
The foundation has also worked to improve health status via supporting the agriculture sector. The agriculture division backs up the efforts of the International Rice Research Institute in developing Golden Rice. The rice is a genetically modified strain of rice with inbuilt efficacy to fight vitamin A deficiency in countries where vitamin deficiency is prevalent.
The foundation also aims to educate women in developing countries about contraception and family planning. They are striving to provide access to high-grade resources to women in need of family planning.
When it comes to research and analysis, the foundation backed the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation launch in 2007. It is one of the distinguished sources of statistics on global health. It also serves as an essential tool for analyzing the impact of health-oriented programs like vaccination and cancer screening.
The foundation is also the second in line when it comes to funding the World Health Organization. It also contributes significantly to other UN agencies and critical global health players, including the Global Fund and the World Bank.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has worked hard to encourage private funding for global health. Their efforts in this regard are unmatched. Their commitment to the cause can be estimated because they have given away more than $30 billion in the health sector with prioritized funding based on data-driven decision-making.
The latest of their funding comes for the COVID-19 pandemic in amounts of $250 million (making their total contribution amounting to $1.75 billion). Their aim; the lifesaving science should be available for everyone, particularly the developing countries. The couple is much admired for encouraging the affluence and privileged to come forward and contribute their share. It is no wonder that Bill and Melinda Gates are tagged as the ‘most generous humans ever’ by some circles.