We were excited to be in Geneva today to meet with Dr. Tedros and senior leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO is one of the organizations most critical to achieving the global health goals of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As the UN agency charged with strengthening international health, it plays a central role in mobilizing multilateral action on global priorities, and it drives progress toward universal health coverage by helping countries set policy norms and by approving new tools and strategies to fight disease.
The foundation and WHO work closely on three key areas of focus:
Helping more mothers and children survive and thrive through improved nutrition and access to quality maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) services;
Combating infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the poorest through collaborations focused on: eradicating polio; delivering life-saving vaccines where they are most needed; accelerating progress to eradicate malaria; and reducing HIV infections and extending lives for people living with HIV; and
Inspiring others to take action in global health, especially through WHO’s unique capacity to translate scientific evidence into practical guidance and solutions.
The world needs a strong, effective, and fully funded WHO to ensure that it can deliver on the many mandates that its member states have assigned to it. Our conversations today focused on what we can do together to strengthen our partnership and work more effectively to accelerate global health progress. We also discussed what the foundation can do to advocate for WHO’s unique role in the global health ecosystem and encourage the nations of the world to invest in a future where every child can lead a healthy and productive life.