For Bill and Melinda Gates, all's well in the best of worlds. The two co-heads of the Gates Foundation explain in their latest Annual LetterIt is a kind of annual review of the world's progress, that the world is doing much better than the media suggest and public opinion believes. This is evidenced by a number of particularly telling graphs which show that, in some aspects, indeed, the world is indeed doing better.
Non, it's not a provocation of billionaires living in a protected cocoon. The data Bill and Melinda Gates presented in their Annual Letter are certainly chosen, but they have something to make us think, and for once, in a positive way.
Zero, the magic number for zero cases of polio in the world for the past 17 years.
The vaccine against this terrible disease has proven to be absolutely effective. This is evidenced by this curve:
The first vaccine developed by Jonas Salk sixty-four years ago has been inoculated all over the world. All countries have made sometimes colossal efforts to vaccinate their populations. China started in the 1990s and India ? 20 years later. In 1985 there were about 400,000 cases worldwide. Today there are only 37! almost zero.
Contraception: Power to Women
According to Bill and Melinda Gates, one of the most effective methods of fostering economic and social success is to empower women. In their letter, they demonstrate that investments in women's health inevitably lead to the creation of larger working populations and stronger economies.
Contraception breaks the cycle of poverty by allowing women to focus on themselves and their families.
300 million women in 69 of the world's poorest countries used one of the many forms of contraception available in 2016. That's a jump of 30 million from 2012. The Gates' target is to reach 120 million women by 2020. A good way to change the world.
Infant mortality is falling
It's, according to The Gates, the most beautiful graph in the world.
Since 1990, the number of children who die before reaching their fifth birthday has halved, from 12.1 million to 5.8 million in 2015. This has been achieved through progress and investment in simple, low-cost measures in developing countries, such as mosquito nets against malaria and the creation of wells for access to clean water.
Extreme poverty tends to be reduced
Extreme poverty means living on less than 1.90 $ per day. The population corresponding to this criterion grew steadily throughout the industrial period from 1820 to 1970. At the end of the 1970s it reached more than 2 billion people. But since then, and contrary to what most people believe, the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped below 705 million.
Melinda Gates explains in her Letter: " The major historical trends are towards more inclusion and care," she writes. "We see this clearly in global health. It is a priority for governments. Citizens support it. And scientists are also converging towards this goal. ».