64th World Health Assembly (WHA)
Bill Gates addresses WHA
The following excerpt is taken from Bill Gates’ Blog on his speech to the World Health Assembly, 17 May 2011 which was published on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website. Link to the full Blog on the Gates website, and watch Bill Gates's complete speech to the Assembly on the WHO website.
“My Vision for the Next Decade: the Decade of Vaccines”
“As I address the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva today, I’m excited about the progress that has been made. In 2005, the first time I gave a speech to the WHA, Melinda and I were still new to global health. My message then was one of optimism. The world was finally starting to use its greatest resource—innovation—to solve its biggest problem—the fact that billions of people don’t have the chance to lead a healthy, productive life. When I reflect on what I have learned in the past six years, I am more optimistic than ever. I believe we have the opportunity to make a new future in which global health is the cornerstone of global prosperity. When everyone has access to good health care, the world will be transformed. Freeing billions of people from the relentless burden of sickness and death will unleash more human potential than any other revolution in history.
"At the foundation, when we think about how to deploy our resources most effectively, one intervention stands out: vaccines. Vaccines are inexpensive, easy to deliver, and proven to protect children from disease for a lifetime. When I was at Microsoft, we dreamed about technologies that were so powerful and yet so simple. Today, I like to imagine what the future will look like when world leaders start using vaccine technology to its utmost. We can make this coming decade the Decade of Vaccines. At the World Health Assembly, I outlined my vision: Polio will be eradicated; Five or six new vaccines will be available to all countries at affordable prices; And, most importantly, every country in the world will have built a system to deliver vaccines to every last child. “