With the Zika virus and Ebola taking the world by storm a few months back, humanity proved that it’s not ready for a deadly flu epidemic and wouldn’t be able to manage it. That is what Microsoft’s former CEO and the biggest shareholder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, said to BBC radio earlier today.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation heavily invests in improving healthcare, especially in developing countries. Bill Gates, who is the CEO of the foundation, said the global emergency response system was not strong enough and the ability to create new drugs and vaccines quickly was lacking. The world needs to focus more on improving the vaccination development as the next deadly flu may have catastrophic consequences.
“I cross my fingers all the time that some epidemic like a big flu doesn’t come along in the next 10 years,” Microsoft Corp founder Gates told Britain’s BBC radio.
“I do think we will have much better medical tools, much better response, but we are a bit vulnerable right now if something spread very quickly, like a flu, that was quite fatal.”
The article via Reuters reminds us that back in 2014, Bill Gates was defending the World Health Organisation in the critique it got from the world about its handling of the Ebola crisis that killed thousands of people in Africa, “saying the agency was neither funded nor staffed, to meet all the expectations.”
Gates also brought up the issue with misuse and overuse of drugs which is clearly accelerating the development of antimicrobial resistance towards these drugs. This has already increased the difficulty of treating Malaria, HIV and more.
In his opinion, if richer countries help developing ones such as in the fight against polio, it would not only be the humanitarian thing to do but also in their own self-interest.