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Bill Gates: 2014 wasn't as bad as you think

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 17 Dec 2014 13:15 User comments (2)

Bill Gates: 2014 wasn't as bad as you think Ebola, Ukraine, Gaza, Malaysian Airlines MH370 & MH17, Terrorism, Mass Protests, Robin Williams' suicide and plenty other things were beamed into our skulls in 2014, but Bill Gates is ever the optimist.
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

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2 user comments

118.12.2014 4:46

Now Mr. Gates is definitely an optimistic person always seeing the glass half full, and that's good. But one should point out to him that even during the first or second world war, there were somewhere on earth people living peacefully and w here there surely was some advances in certain areas.
13 million less children dead is in fact phenomenal news, but go tell this to the families of the tens of thousands killed in Syria, to the families of all beheaded bu ISIS, to the suffering Ukrainians, to all those on unemployment in Europe or elsewhere, who see no prospects of improvement in their lives... I will stop here, because the list is very long.
However in some areas, indeed, there are some very good news, but is the world in a better shape now than it was last year or 10 years ago? Each one will have his opinion, but one should not forget that a pessimist is just a realistic optimist!

219.12.2014 1:55

Originally posted by randyckay:
Now Mr. Gates is definitely an optimistic person always seeing the glass half full, and that's good. But one should point out to him that even during the first or second world war, there were somewhere on earth people living peacefully and w here there surely was some advances in certain areas.
13 million less children dead is in fact phenomenal news, but go tell this to the families of the tens of thousands killed in Syria, to the families of all beheaded bu ISIS, to the suffering Ukrainians, to all those on unemployment in Europe or elsewhere, who see no prospects of improvement in their lives... I will stop here, because the list is very long.
However in some areas, indeed, there are some very good news, but is the world in a better shape now than it was last year or 10 years ago? Each one will have his opinion, but one should not forget that a pessimist is just a realistic optimist!
Yep pretty good points, my take in general more people are worse off. Some might be better off now then 10 years ago, but would have to say the majority of people are either slightly worse off to pretty damn bad worse off.

Peace!

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