Bill Gates upbeat About global vaccination summit
Political leaders meet yesterday to discuss how to ensure children in the world's poorest countries receive vaccinations.
At the London summit, one of the world's most influential men explained what he hoped would emerge from the global conference.
The process of developing vaccinations is "cool stuff". In fact, "it's as good as writing computer code".
These aren't the musings of a bedroom computer programmer with a passing interest in immunology.
The observations were made by Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and they neatly encapsulate his enthusiasm for a campaign to ensure children around the world are protected against potentially fatal diseases.
With his head cocked to one side and a broad smile on his face, his voice fizzed with passion when he described the "magic" of vaccines.
"They're very inexpensive, they can protect you for your entire life, so diseases like smallpox that used to kill millions are completely gone because of the vaccine. It's the greatest thing that ever happened in human health.
"We need to get them out to people and invent some more."
The Microsoft founder was speaking the day before he and Prime Minister David Cameron lead the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) conference, which so political leaders discuss how to generate sufficient funds to ensure children in the world's poorest countries receive the vaccines they need.
Gavi is a public-private partnership which draws together a number of organisations including the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the vaccine industry.
The conference was a pledging event for governments and the private sector with the aim of raising £2.3bn ($3.73bn) for vaccines to plug a funding shortfall and save the lives of an estimated four million children worldwide by 2015.
Gavi's global immunisation programme includes plans to roll out new vaccines against major causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea, two of the biggest child killers.
Mr Gates said he believes a malaria vaccine is a few years away and there was a "good chance" that by 2015 a trial will have a successful completion.
“What a fantastic project for the world’s richest man to get involved with, we wish all involved good luck in raising the funding needed” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.