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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA, United States

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 24, 2017

A new study of malaria medicine quality in 8 sub-Saharan African countries has found a large and potentially growing market for non-quality-assured (QA) malaria treatments -- medicines not pre-approved by global health organisations - as much as 20% of the private-sector market in Kenya, and 42% in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As one of the most comprehensive recent studies relating to medicine quality in the region, the findings provide new insights for patients, researchers, policy makers and malaria control programmes because QA status is often linked to the quality of medicines - which can impact patient health and safety, malaria control efforts and artemisinin drug efficacy. The study, conducted in the private and public sectors of Benin, DRC, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, was published today in a Malaria Journal article titled 'Do anti-malarials in Africa meet quality standards? The market penetration of non-quality assured artemisinin combination therapy in eight African countries'. Researchers measured the availability and market share of medicines not pre-approved under World Health Organization (WHO), Global Fund or European Medicines Agency (EMA) quality assurance programmes. Researchers collected data from 29 malaria medicine outlet surveys and audited more than 330,000 artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) between 2009 and 2015. Based on samples from randomly selected clusters in the 8 countries, in 2014-15, non-QA medicines represented 42% and 27% of the private-sector market in Kinshasa and Katanga, respectively, 20% in Kenya, 19% in Uganda and Benin, 12% in Nigeria, 8% in Zambia and 5% in Tanzania. Moreover, non-QA medicines were available in 48% of private outlets in Nigeria, 38% in Uganda, 21% in Tanzania, 17% in Zambia and 83% and 53% in the Kinshasa and Katanga provinces of the DRC, respectively. In contrast with the private sector, the public-sector market share of non-QA medicines in 2014-15 was generally smaller - 6% in Nigeria, 5% in Kenya, and about 1% in Benin, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda. Due to limited regulatory capacities in many malaria-endemic countries, public health officials look to pre-approval status to help ensure medicine quality. Although approval status alone does not guarantee the safety of a medicine - in fact, non-QA treatments can be safe and effective in some cases - it does provide a strong, evidence-based indication of quality, the article states. Poor quality antimalarials include falsified medicines - or those produced fraudulently - and substandard medicines, which were improperly manufactured or have degraded over time. "These findings really improve our ability to understand the complex problem of medicine quality in Africa", said co-author Dr Megan Littrell, Principal Investigator at the ACTwatch project, which led the research collaboration. 'Although the data focus on quality-assurance status, it's hugely beneficial to know where non-QA antimalarials are most prevalent, particularly in countries with the highest malaria burdens, so that appropriate interventions can be considered alongside other efforts to tackle poor quality medicines". In addition to showing substantial market penetration and availability of non-QA antimalarials, the study states that most countries showed an increase in the private-sector market share of non-QA medicines between 2009 and 2015. The greatest increase occurred in Kenya and Kinshasa, where the market share approximately doubled, from 19% and 11% in 2009 to 42% and 20% in 2014-15, respectively. The public-sector non-QA market share mostly decreased during this time, except in Kenya, Kinshasa (DRC) and Zambia where the non-QA market share shifted from 1%, 1% and less than 1% in 2009, respectively, to 5%, 18% and 32% in 2014-15. "Non-QA antimalarials clearly have a strong market penetration across Africa, and these findings should help inform policy responses", said Professor Paul Newton, a co-author of the article and Head of the Medicine Quality Group at the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO). "However, we have also found numerous differences on the ground, so we must tailor our strategies for removing these medicines accordingly, by improving regulation, aligning national registration medicine lists with global standards, enhancing access to QA antimalarials and providing more support for manufacturers to ensure that their products are all quality assured. Frequent monitoring of the available antimalarials should be conducted to understand what patients are taking and the quality of the medications". The article, which included co-authors from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, also found that diverse generics and formulations were available, but typically imported and distributed in urban areas at either pharmacies or drug stores. In countries such as Nigeria, over 90 unique manufacturers were found to be supplying non-QA medicines. In most cases, the private sector is the most common source of treatments, at for-profit health facilities, pharmacies, drug stores, general retailers, and mobile providers. However, patients also receive medicines from public-sector outlets, such as hospitals, clinics and other facilities. The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network is a research partnership that provides comprehensive, timely, quality-assured evidence to help track the emergence and spread of malaria drug resistance, and improve the efficacy of existing antimalarial medicines and new drugs in development. This collaboration of research experts provides valuable evidence to help save more lives and support the global effort to control, eliminate and eventually eradicate malaria. The WWARN Antimalarial Quality (AQ) Surveyor helps to respond to some of the critical gaps in information. This mapping tool delivers customised summaries of published reports of antimalarial medicine quality across regions and over time. WWARN is a constituent organisation of the recently launched Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), which takes a similar model to a range of devastating tropical and neglected illnesses, including Ebola. For further information, please visit http://www. (link is external) and http://www. (link is external). ACTwatch is a multi-country research project implemented by Population Services International (PSI). Launched in 2008 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and with additional funding from UNITAID and the DFID, ACTwatch is designed to provide timely, relevant, and high-quality antimalarial and malaria diagnostic testing market intelligence. ACTwatch is implemented in 13 countries and employs standardized tools and approaches to provide comparable data across countries and over time. Research methods implemented include outlet and household surveys, supply chain studies, key informant interviews, and, in selected countries, a module to document private-sector fever case management practices using observation and client exit interviews. Since 2008, ACtwatch has implemented 50 outlet surveys, screened over 360,000 public- and private-sector outlets, and audited more than 400,000 antimalarials. Population Services International (PSI) is a global non-profit organization focused on the encouragement of healthy behaviour and affordability of health products. PSI was founded in 1970 to improve reproductive health using commercial marketing strategies and has expanded to work in over 50 countries in the areas of malaria, family planning, HIV, diarrhoea, pneumonia and sanitation. PSI has active malaria control programs in more than 35 countries worldwide, helping national ministries of health to scale up proven interventions, and sustain coverage over time. PSI focuses on a variety of interventions to improve availability, affordability and use of effective malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These interventions include the delivery of long-lasting insecticidal treated nets (LLINs), artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), strategic behaviour change communications and applied operational research. In 2015 alone, PSI delivered over 44 million LLINs, 11 million courses of ACT, and 9 million RDTs through public and private sectors. PSI also supports global malaria elimination goals by implementing test, treat and track strategies and strengthening national surveillance of malaria.

News Article | May 24, 2017

— Eitner Education Founder Jay Eitner honorably attended the Edcamp Foundation’s Leadership Summit, which took place in Parsippany, New Jersey from March 10-12th, 2017. The event was part of a series of more than 700 conferences across 25 countries that have been produced as part of the organizer’s mandate to advance self-directed learning among educators, with operational and lead funding coming from sponsors such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The NewSchools Seed Fund. Participants including superintendents, administrators, teachers, and coaches were invited to share best practices, to collaborate in addressing common issues, and to focus on professional development. With close to 4 million elementary and secondary school teachers instructing 50 million students in the United States, the American public education system is undoubtedly complex and suffers from shortcomings—as assistant professor of education Jack Schneider observes in a piece published by the Atlantic. In cross-national assessments such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States regularly ranks around the median of a group of 71 countries, reflecting much room for improvement. It is within this pedagogic framework that Jay Eitner attends multiple national conferences such as Edcamp’s in an effort to adapt and disseminate innovative strategies for educators in US schools. Over the course of the Leadership Summit, which is offered at no cost, participants are engaged as equals and are directly responsible for shaping the schedule and content of the event’s workshops. National School Board Educational Technology Leader and Edcamp attendee Adam Schoenberg reflects that a “common thread throughout was the need for empathy throughout our schools” achieved by teachers adopting an understanding that learning can be an uncomfortable experience. Similarly, Eitner Education offers balanced professional development curriculum and dialogue opportunities for educators and administrative staff who are seeking new methodologies to strengthen the school system. Founded in 2012, this forward-thinking initiative is fueled by owner-operator Jay Eitner’s regular participation in regional and national educator conferences such as the annual AASA (American Association of School Administrators) and NJASA Spring seminar (New Jersey Association of School Administrators). In recognition of the importance of technology in the classroom, the material offered by Eitner Education is often inclusive of cutting-edge application tutorials and suggested tech resources. Jay Eitner holds a BA in interdisciplinary studies from the American University in Washington, DC and an MA in curriculum and instruction from Kean University in New Jersey. With multiple board certifications and professional experience as a teacher, supervisor and superintendent across two districts, he is well-versed in public education delivery and administration and has been recognized as 2015 national BAMMY Superintendent of the Year as well as the 2016 AASA National Educator to Watch. Notable achievements have included the sourcing and application of over $4,000,000 in grants for technology enhancement in the Lower Alloways Creek School District and oversight of a major $80,000,000 school construction project for the Waterford Township School District. Jay Eitner regularly shares invaluable insights on Twitter, Facebook and his personal blog. Jay Eitner - Nationally Recognized Pioneer in the Field of Education: For more information, please visit

Esparza J.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Soon after HIV was discovered as the cause of AIDS in 1983-1984, there was an expectation that a preventive vaccine would be rapidly developed. In trying to achieve that goal, three successive scientific paradigms have been explored: induction of neutralizing antibodies, induction of cell mediated immunity, and exploration of combination approaches and novel concepts. Although major progress has been made in understanding the scientific basis for HIV vaccine development, efficacy trials have been critical in moving the field forward. In 2009, the field was reinvigorated with the modest results obtained from the RV144 trial conducted in Thailand. Here, we review those vaccine development efforts, with an emphasis on events that occurred during the earlier years. The goal is to provide younger generations of scientists with information and inspiration to continue the search for an HIV vaccine. © 2013 The Author.

Mundel T.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
PLoS Biology | Year: 2016

In the aftermath of the Ebola crisis, the global health community has a unique opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned and apply them to prepare the world for the next crisis. Part of that preparation will entail knowing, with greater precision, what the scale and scope of our specific global health challenges are and what resources are needed to address them. However, how can we know the magnitude of the challenge, and what resources are needed without knowing the current status of the world through accurate primary data? Once we know the current status, how can we decide on an intervention today with a predicted impact decades out if we cannot project into that future? Making a case for more investments will require not just better data generation and sharing but a whole new level of sophistication in our analytical capability—a fundamental shift in our thinking to set expectations to match the reality. In this current status of a distributed world, being transparent with our assumptions and specific with the case for investing in global health is a powerful approach to finding solutions to the problems that have plagued us for centuries. © 2016 Trevor Mundel.

Sexually transmitted diseases, a source of widespread morbidity and sometimes mortality, are caused by a diverse group of infections with a common route of transmission. Existing vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papilloma virus 16, 18, 6 and 11 are highly efficacious and cost effective. In reviewing the potential role for other vaccines against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) a series of questions needs to be addressed about the burden of disease, the potential characteristics of a new vaccine, and the impact of other interventions. These questions can be viewed in the light of the population dynamics of sexually transmitted infections as a group and how a vaccine can impact these dynamics. Mathematical models show the potential for substantial impact, especially if vaccines are widely used. To better make the case for sexually transmitted infection vaccines we need better data and analyses of the burden of disease, especially severe disease. However, cost effectiveness analyses using a wide range of assumptions show that STI vaccines would be cost effective and their development a worthwhile investment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pingali P.L.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

A detailed retrospective of the Green Revolution, its achievement and limits in terms of agricultural productivity improvement, and its broader impact at social, environmental, and economic levels is provided. Lessons learned and the strategic insights are reviewed as the world is preparing a "redux" version of the Green Revolution with more integrative environmental and social impact combined with agricultural and economic development. Core policy directions for Green Revolution 2.0 that enhance the spread and sustainable adoption of productivity enhancing technologies are specified.

Zwane A.P.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Science | Year: 2012

The concept of scarcity helps to understand and aid decision-making, particularly in the case of very poor people.

Gates M.F.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Science | Year: 2014

The development field needs to be more serious about gender inequities and women's empowerment. By ignoring gender inequities, many development projects fail to achieve their objective. And when development organizations do not focus on women's empowerment, they neglect the fact that empowered women have the potential to transform their societies. I also review the Gates Foundation's record on gender and propose some approaches to improve it.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Date: 2014-11-14

At least one aspect of the technology provides a self-contained processing facility configured to convert organic, high water-content waste, such as fecal sludge and garbage, into electricity while also generating and collecting potable water.

Wheeler T.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Journal of epidemiology and community health | Year: 2012

Debates have raged in development for decades about the appropriateness of participatory approaches and the degree to which they can be managed, scaled and measured. The Avahan programme confronted these issues over the last 7 years and concludes that it is advantageous to manage scaled community mobilisation processes so that participation evolves and programming on the ground is shaped by what is learnt through implementation. The donor (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and its partners determined a standard set of programme activities that were implemented programme-wide but evolved with input from communities on the ground. Difficulties faced in monitoring and measurement in Avahan may be characteristic of similar efforts to measure community mobilisation in a scaled programme, and ultimately these challenges informed methods that were useful. The approach the programme undertook for learning and changing, the activities it built into the HIV prevention programme, and its logic model and measurement tools, may be relevant in other public health settings seeking to integrate community mobilisation.

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