Thursday, January 18, 2007

Paying for Neglected Disease Research

There has been a lot of hand waving accompanying recent donations of large swathes of money by the likes of Bill Gates and others. - Don't worry, I won't even mention the insufferable Bono and his funny Africa related initiatives (you bought the red motorola phone, watch, armani underwear, condom already in order to eliminate poverty in africa? do it now, according to Bono and his friends this constitutes a major contribution toward the elimination of world poverty.) - Somehow, at least this was the impression given by many commentators, these sorts of philanthropic giving-away exercises would make a big difference in the fight against neglected diseases such as Malaria and TB. MSF reports today that in actual fact these private activities don't make much of a difference as the sums required to deal effectively even with TB are substantially larger then what even the Gates Foundation is prepared to spend. All goes back, ultimately to the responsibility of governments to provide the funding required to develop the tools to eradicate such illnesses. Further useful background readings at one of the useful health sites on the web, the kaisernetwork.

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