Bill And Melinda Gates Think These Are The Two Most Important Charts In The World

Bill and Melinda Gates TEDTED/James Duncan DavidsonChris Anderson interviewed Bill and Melinda Gates on March 18 at the TED2014 conference in Vancouver.

Bill and Melinda Gates shared the stage Tuesday night during the TED2014 Conference in Vancouver.

In an interview with TED curator Chris Andersen, who asked each to share the one chart that drives their work with the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation.

Melinda, a champion of women’s reproductive rights, chose an infographic illustrating the struggle some African women have accessing a preferred method of birth control:

Melinda recently visited some impoverished parts of the continent, and was shocked: “Condoms were fully stocked in Africa because of the AIDS work the U.S. and others supported. But the women said, ‘I can’t negotiate a condom with my husband. I’m either saying he has AIDS or I have AIDS.’ So they walk for 10 kilometers to get the shot [the contraceptive Depo-Provera], and they get to the clinic and it’s stocked out.”

Melinda explained that even though she is a Roman Catholic, she is committed to fighting through controversy and getting birth control to the 210 million women who want but lack access to contraception.

Bill chose a graph that he wants to inspire people. From 1960 to today, the number of children who die before the age of five has dropped from 20 million to around six million:

“This is a story largely down to vaccines,” Bill said. “You want that to continue. The science is there. If we can invent the vaccines, get them out there, and get the delivery right, you can perform a miracle.”

He explained that he loves seeing the increase in charity around the world every time a natural disaster strikes, but he hopes that these same people will be compelled to donate to vaccination research and distribution when they see that they can contribute to an amazing decline in child mortality.

The full interview has yet to be posted online, but you can read an abridged transcript of the Q&A at TED’s blog.

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