Ban seeks philanthropists' help to fight global health threats

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. [UN Photo/Mark Garten]

Today we have the power and the knowledge to wipe out deaths from five of the world's biggest health threats: malaria, polio, tetanus, measles and HIV infections in newborns, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in remarks to the Second annual Forbes 400 Summit.

He said "We can do this not just in our lifetimes, but in just five years".

The Secretary-General noted that malaria deaths have already been cut by 40 per cent in just seven years. Bill and Melinda Gates have shown inspiring leadership on polio. Now the disease is endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Secretary-General Ban pointed out that we also want to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV, noting that in a recent two-year period, new HIV infections were cut be one quarter putting an AIDS-free generation within reach.

But he said two of the five diseases are orphaned, explaining that tetanus and measles get less international attention, but have the same great potential for results.

Tetanus is often contracted by mothers and babies during unhygienic deliveries. The fatality rate can be 100 per cent. But the Secretary-General noted that a vaccine and other simple measures can eliminate the threat.

And he said Measles deaths have been cut by more than 70 per cent since 2000. But this disease is still a leading killer of children.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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