Bill and Melinda Gates: Rx for Global Health

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Why you should care

Because stabler health can lead to stabler nations. 

Unless we’re panicking over the likes of Ebola, those of us in wealthier parts of the world tend not to think much about global health — and certainly not about quiet killers like malaria and tuberculosis, which cause millions of deaths a year. Bill and Melinda Gates are different. Over the past 15 years, their foundation has steadily transformed global health in the developing world, focusing on what most of us ignore: reproductive health, vaccinations, diagnostics. Their work has affected how millions of people think about sex, raising kids and their own life prospects.

When OZY’s Carlos Watson sat down with the Gateses recently, they talked about everything from the liberating power of contraception to their own foundation’s power — and who keeps it in check. Democracy and good governance are key, but making a difference in global health often requires working in messier conditions, Bill says: “If you want to restrict yourself to well-functioning democracies, you should not get involved in poor countries.”

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