On an exclusive tour to India, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said that the government should be very proud of the progress it made at investing in health equality and health systems and adopting new vaccines.
Bill Gates in an interview with the Economic Times (ET) on Wednesday, said, “India has been particularly fantastic at investing in health equality and health systems, adopting new vaccines. The Gates Foundation has been a partner in that, but the government should be very proud of that progress.”
Gates also said that technological innovations in India can go a long way toward addressing the twin problems of hotter climates and falling crop yields.
The billionaire businessman and philanthropist is on a visit to India to explore business opportunities in health, education, and other sectors. On February 28, Gates met with RBI governor Shaktikanta Das. According to Das, they discussed a wide range of issues including “financial inclusion, payment systems, microfinance and digital lending.”
Later, the Microsoft co-founder also met with various prominent personalities including, former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Tata group’s Ratan Tata, N. Chandrasekaran, and Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra.
Our co-chair & founder, @BillGates had an enriching discussion with @RNTata2000 & N. Chandrasekaran, about their philanthropic initiatives. We look forward to strengthening our work together & partnering for health, diagnostics, and nutrition. pic.twitter.com/Xqs1hooDyX
— Gates Foundation India (@BMGFIndia) March 1, 2023
Gate also visited an urban health center in Mumbai. Gate Foundation India in a tweet said, “India is on its way to achieving a #TBMuktBharat. Our co-chair @BillGates spent his afternoon at an urban health center in Mumbai & interacted with auxiliary nurse midwives & staff members to understand India’s progress toward TB treatment.”
India is on its way to achieving a #TBMuktBharat. Our co-chair @BillGates spent his afternoon at an urban health center in Mumbai & interacted with auxiliary nurse midwives & staff members to understand India’s progress toward TB treatment. pic.twitter.com/FeCmG84MJ3
— Gates Foundation India (@BMGFIndia) February 28, 2023
On the impact of the pandemic, Gates told ET, “We have learned a lot. But we haven’t yet built the surveillance system or the ability to quickly detect outbreaks so that we can stop them going global in the future. It gives us an incomplete grade even though a lot of great tools and learnings came from this pandemic. Look at world wars, we had to have two before we finally built the institutions.”
“I hope it doesn’t take a second pandemic to build the right tools and global institutions,” Gates added.
In a separate interview with TOI, Gates said, “The world has much to do on practice and surveillance. Sadly the next pandemic could be far more fatal… this one killed over 20 million, mostly older people. You can have a pandemic that would kill hundreds of millions.”
Microsoft founder also talked about India’s G20 presidency this year. He said, “It’s an interesting year, because with India at the head of the G20, there is this opportunity to highlight things like the Aadhaar system and digital finance, showcase how digital public goods work, and show how that’s helping in India.”
Later in the day, Bill Gates will join Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in a session on Digital Public Infrastructure.