Being exposed to the media, you can be forgiven for thinking that things are constantly getting worse and worse. Simply put, fear sells. If it bleeds, it leads. It is very easy to be cynical and have a negative outlook on the future, but Bill Gates is far more optimistic as he looks back on 2014 and toward the future... and not just because he's insanely rich.
No, instead Gates has reminded us that a lot of good things happened in 2014 too, even if it doesn't make the headlines. Just as he did at the end of 2013, Gates is drawing attention to some of the highlights from 2014, and some of it is pretty great.
In 2014, for the 42nd year in a row (at least), the child mortality rate has fallen. "More kids are living to see their fifth birthday than ever before," Gates asserts, as he highlights the drop in the number of children dying globally from preventable causes. In fact, the child mortality rate is falling faster than ever anticipated, and Gates highlights an article in The Economist showing that over 13.6 million children's lives have been saved since 2001.
HIV is another area where the news is getting better. In 2013, the number of people receiving treatment for HIV infection was greater than the number of people becoming infected and 2014 appears to have continued the trend. Those receiving treatment for the retrovirus are far less likely to ever pass it on, so just catching up and surpassing the number of newly infected persons, with the numbers receiving treatment, is a major milestone in the battle to eventually relegate HIV/AIDS to history.
Gates also notes how Nigeria was equipped to fight and contain Ebola due to its ongoing efforts to fight Polio. In fact, Nigeria quickly got Ebola under control while many of its neighbors struggled with it, and in the case of Polio, a total of only six cases were reported in Nigeria in 2014 so far, down from 53 in 2013, which brings Polio ever-closer to complete eradication.
Gates also highlights a breakthrough in the treatment of the deadly drug-resistant Tuberculosis disease that is costing poor countries billions of dollars to contain, and how the response to rotavirus - which kills hundreds of thousands of children per year - is growing in countries like India.
Read More: Good News You May Have Missed in 2014 by Bill Gates
Written by: James Delahunty @ 17 Dec 2014 13:15