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Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates is introduced at Microsoft's annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Wash., on Dec. 2, 2015.
Ted S. Warren/AP
Health

Bill Gates Is Giving $1 Billion to Help Fight Malaria

Since its founding, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated more than $40 billion toward eliminating extreme poverty. 

Now, Bill Gates is adding another billion to that already immense number.

On Wednesday, at the Malaria Summit London 2018, Gates pledged $1 billion by 2023 in the fight against malaria — a disease that affects more than 200 million people each year

Take Action: It’s Time to Deliver on the Promise of Universal Health Coverage

“It’s a disease that is preventable, treatable and ultimately beatable, but progress against malaria is not inevitable,” Gates said in a statement. “We hope today marks a turning point.”

In all, $3.8 billion was pledged toward the elimination of malaria at the summit — $2 billion of which will be delivered to malaria-affected countries by 2020. 

At the summit, government and private sector leaders called on the Commonwealth, a collection of 53 countries and 2.4 billion people, to halve the number of people affected by malaria by 2023

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According to the Telegraph, six of the 10 countries most affected by malaria are Commonwealth nations, including Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and India. 

Read More: These Tweets From Bill Gates Will Remind You That 2017 Wasn’t All Bad

It’s a large task, but with a concerted global effort, reducing the incidence of malaria is possible. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of malaria deaths worldwide was reduced by nearly 30%, according to the World Health Organization

Currently, several pharmaceutical companies — such as GlaxoSmithKline, which committed more than $200 million at the Malaria Summit — are in the process of testing new malaria vaccines. 

On Tuesday, the UK government pledged 100 million pounds ($142 million) to help provide 26 million mosquito nets to malaria-affected countries through the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Devex reports

“One of the things we faced with organizing this summit was to create a breadth of solutions — because that’s what’s needed — and not a magic bullet,” James Whiting, CEO of Malaria No More UK, told Devex.

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Read More: How Sri Lanka, Once One of the Worst-Infected in the World, Got Rid of Malaria

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and good health and well-being is goal number three. You can join us and call on world leaders to provide universal health care here

And while the fight to eliminate malaria will no doubt continue for years to come, having Bill Gates on the side of the leaders pushing to do so could be a key development.