Sunday, February 7, 2010

$10 Billion to Save 8.7 Million Lives

I like helping people. That's why I belong to a volunteer service club within my community. I also give my money to worthy organizations every year. So imagine what I could do if I had billions of dollars!

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that they would be committing $10 billion to provide vaccines against a wide range of diseases. That is an incredible amount of money, and could greatly reduce the occurrence of many preventable diseases, possibly saving an estimated 8.7 million lives—7.6 million of them children under the age of 5. Not to mention the number of people whose lives would simply be better.

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy—which covers non-profit organizations—this is the largest single amount ever committed for a specific cause. It's also an incredible gesture, and I applaud Bill and Melinda Gates for taking this step.


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Anonymous said...

10 billion to save 8.7 million lives isn't very efficient, is it?

Don't get me wrong, the Gates Foundation is using the money towards a noble cause. But vaccinations that would average out to over $10,000 per person just doesnt sound right to me.

Matt Metcalf said...

Your math is a little off, Anonymous. It averages out to about $1150 per person, to save a life. But even if it was $10,000, would that be too much to save a person's life? Are we that greedy? In the U.S., we now have a prostate cancer treatment that costs almost $100,000 per dose and adds an average of four months of life. For a little more than one percent of that amount, we can vaccinate children, giving them a chance to grow up.