‘Challenge’ to maintain world’s focus on global health after COVID-19: Bill Gates

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Asking the world to prioritise saving lives in the world’s poorest countries is increasingly challenging in a world still rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of climate change, rising energy costs, and the war in Ukraine, according to Bill Gates.

The Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist said it was a”paradox” that in the wake of a huge global health threat, funding for tackling diseases like malaria and AIDS could actually drop this year.

“I am very worried, ironically, in the face of the clearest indication of why infectious disease is not a thing of the past, in fact, the funding levels could go down,” said Gates in an interview with Reuters last week.

He was speaking ahead of the publication of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual Goalkeepers report, which tracks progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), around reducing poverty and improving health.

The report finds that the pandemic has knocked the world off-course on almost every indicator, and progress would need to speed up by a factor of five in order to reach the targets set for 2030 on issues like reducing maternal mortality or ending malnutrition.