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By: Tadataka Yamada, M.D., President, Global Health Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

We live in an extraordinary time in the history of public health: never before has the world had such powerful technologies to fight disease and improve lives. Yet medical breakthroughs mean little if they fail to reach those in greatest need. Today, millions of people in the poorest countries do not have access to effective vaccines, medicines, and other life-saving tools.

Ensuring global access to health technologies is a complex challenge. Yet, as this important book demonstrates, there is a growing body of evidence that this challenge can be met. Bold leadership, careful planning matched with innovative thinking, and long-term commitment are required to succeed in this endeavor.

We are beginning to see successes on an unprecedented scale. Just five years ago, access to HIV drugs in Africa was considered a fantasy; today, initiatives like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the Presidentís Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief are delivering treatment to millions of people who are most in need. At the same time, the GAVI Alliance has brought together governments and vaccine manufacturers to increase global immunization rates to all-time highs.

Our urgent task is to build on this recent progress. While a significant proportion of the grantmaking of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on discovering and developing new health tools, we are equally committed to helping ensure that existing and new tools are rapidly delivered to the people who need them. This book and the case studies and frameworks contained within it have helped the Foundation to shape its response to the challenges of improving access to health solutions. We believe the analyses and narratives herein will help others around the world who seek to do the same.

I am hopeful that in the coming years, the speed of improvements in global health will continue. With dedication and ingenuity, we can create a world in which all people have access to the tools they need to live healthy, productive lives.



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      Launch date: 23 January 2009   Site Developed by: Ementrix
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Access: How Do Good Health Technologies Get to Poor People in Poor Countries? by Laura J. Frost and Michael R. Reich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License