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Bill Gates To Donate $500 Million For Malaria, Other Diseases

Update Date: Nov 03, 2014 01:19 PM EST

US philanthropist Bill Gates announced he will donate $500 million to fight malaria and other infectious diseases in the developing world, adding that the Ebola outbreak is a call to action. 

Speaking at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, he announced his Gates Foundation is committing more than $500 million in 2014 "to reduce the burden of malaria, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and an array of parasitic infections that are leading causes of death and disability in developing countries."

He also added that in addition to that pledge, the foundation has boosted its annual funding for malaria by 30 percent. 

Gates described the Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 4,900 people in West Africa since the beginning of the year as a "critical moment in the history of global health," and said the world's largest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever underscores the need for stronger efforts to stay ahead of disease threats such as drug-resistant malaria and dengue fever, according to a press release.

"The Ebola epidemic has shown, once again, that in today's interconnected world, health challenges anywhere create health challenges everywhere-and the best way to overcome those challenges is to dedicate ourselves to the great cause of reducing the global burden of infectious disease," Gates said in his prepared remarks.

"Small steps won't get the job done. History shows that the only way to stop malaria is to end it forever."

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