Bill Gates is proud of how the world improved in 2013.
“You’re probably seeing a lot of people’s year-end lists right now, going through the best movies, books, YouTube clips, grumpy cat memes, etc. I thought I would share a different kind of list: some of the good news you might have missed,” he wrote in a blog post.
Here’s a summary of Gates’ 2013 Good News List, and we have to admit, this stuff is REALLY good
- “We got smarter and faster at fighting polio.” An outbreak in the Horn of Africa was controlled in four month and that India hasn’t reported a case of polio in nearly three years.
- “Child mortality went down — again.” Half as many children died in 2012 as in 1990. (A cup half-full way of looking at an awful problem.)
- “The worldwide poverty rate went down — again.” The poverty rate has dropped by half since 1990, the Economist reported in June. Gates adds, “I never miss an issue of the Economist, and this might be the best piece they ran this year.”
- “Rich countries re-committed to saving lives.” Gates points out renewed funding commitments to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria.
And next year, all of the world’s poorest countries will have access to a new vaccine called pentavalent. Gates is pretty excited about that, too. It’s called pentavalent “because it prevents five diseases,” Gates explained:
Next year it will be available in South Sudan, the last of the 73 poorest countries to introduce it. India just announced that they’ll start giving it to every child in the nation in 2014. If other countries follow India’s example, pentavalent could prevent 7 million deaths by 2020.
That’s 7 million more children protected from common, preventable childhood illnesses, in addition to the 440 million that an organisation called GAVI has immunized since 2000, he says.
The idea caused Gates to send this jubilant tweet:
With so much bad news bombarding us daily, it’s nice to see how things improved, too.