Bill Gates Has Some Good News about 2014 [LIST]

In anticipation of the New Year, Bill Gates gives a roundup of some of the positive improvements the world has seen in 2014.

Dec 22, 2014
Picture of Bill Gates

Bill Gates is one of the world's leading philanthropists. [Shutterstock]

Bill Gates is a household name, well-known for being the co-founder of Microsoft and for the past 15 years investing time and energy into his philanthropic organization – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the largest foundations in the world, its activities are dedicated to enhancing healthcare, reducing poverty, expanding educational opportunities and access to information technology. Gates is passionate about changing the world for the better, using his voice and the Foundation’s hefty endowment of $42.3 billion to make a difference.
In honor of the New Year, Bill Gates has compiled a list of positive news of 2014, showing that with a combination of hope, positive change and some elbow grease, the state of the world is a lot better than we think.
In celebration of 2014, here begins the list:

1. More Kids Are Celebrating Their Fifth Birthday Than Ever Before

Kids are now living longer lives as the child mortality rate has fallen significantly throughout the world. Gates cites an article in The Economist that estimates that since 2001, through collective efforts, the world has saved 13.6 million children’s lives.

A fifth birthday cake

More kids are getting to celebrate their fifth birthdays. [Shutterstock]

2. Coming On Top in the Fight Against AIDS

New data has revealed that 2013 was the first time when more people started getting treatment for HIV than became infected. Gates explains that this is a significant milestone because treating people keeps them alive, and reduces their chances of passing the virus to others.

AIDS awareness ribbon in between two hands shaped like a heart.

More people are being treated for HIV, reducing the rate of spreading the disease. [Shutterstock]

3. A Vaccine that Fights Rotavirus is Getting to Kids in Need

A preventable diarrheal disease called rotavirus is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of kids a year. Rampant in poorer countries, the disease can be treated with a vaccine, saving millions of lives. When Gates learned about the rotavirus in the 1990s, he was spurred to take action and funded one of the first grants to fight the disease. As of today, a cheap and effective rotavirus vaccine has been created, and in India where the disease is prevalent, the government is delivering the vaccine for free to kids in need.

A group of smiling Indian boys

Kids in India are receiving free vaccines against rotavirus. [Image by Flickr user Steven Gray]

4. A New Treatment for Tuberculosis is on the Horizon

A cure for tuberculosis has been widely sought, and it looks like a group of scientists (supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) might be headed in the right direction. As of now a new TB treatment regimen has been proven to be effective in early-phase research, which if successful, can make a major impact in saving lives and reducing healthcare costs in developing countries.

Female scientist in a lab looking under a microscope.

Scientists are on the way to creating a new and effective treatment against tuberculosis. [Shutterstock]

5. Nigeria’s Improved Polio Healthcare Has Kept the Ebola Virus at Bay

The country of Nigeria has experienced a massive drop in polio cases – reporting only six this year compared to more than 50 last year. The country’s improved health care structure  and mobilization to fight polio has better prepared them to combat the Ebola virus. Nigeria is completely Ebola-free and its citizens are safe from the infectious virus.

Surgeon or doctor showing patient an xray

Better healthcare in Nigeria has prevented Ebola from affecting Nigerians. [Shutterstock]