Bill Gates has announced a new network for disease surveillance, focused on raising the mortality for children in Africa and spotting new diseases quickly.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded £48 million to develop lab equipment and hire medical staff. The staff will move around Africa finding out how, why and when children are dying and detail findings into a database for others to view.
"Our uncertainty about our disease estimates is pretty high," Bill Gates said in an interview with The Atlantic. "When we were going after the biggest killers that are everywhere, like pneumococcus for respiratory and rotavirus for diarrhea, we didn't need very precise figures."
In this new world of disease, Bill Gates claims the need for accurate representation of disease pandemic is necessary. They need to know how many people have cholera in a certain location, knowing where and when to invest in vaccines and medicine.
The new surveillance network should give Gates’ foundation enough information to accurately follow the most serious illnesses in the region. The new network will connect with local hospitals and other illness centers, allowing for a huge push to finally end pandemics and diseases in Africa.
Child mortality has dropped heavily since 1980, with investments into the region for better health, education and jobs. Gates has routinely said the most important thing to achieve in the end of major diseases and illness rates in Africa, claiming things like internet access are secondary to health.