The blog of Bill Gates
gatesnotes
The blog of Bill Gates

Good News You May Have Missed in 2014

Sign In
 
My Profile & Settings
Log out
GO
Your search for "", with selected filters, does not match any posts. Please try again with a different search term or reset filters.

Popular searches include: Books, Malaria, and Future of Food.
RELATED ARTICLES ON
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
- or - Sign up with email
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Send me updates from Bill Gates
Sign Up
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, subscribe to your favorite topics and more. We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Account Settings
VIEW & EDIT PROFILE
Your Information
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Password
Save
Cancel
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Your Interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Deactivate Account
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process. Deactivate account If you want to permanently delete your account and remove its content, please send us a request here.
Ok
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

Forgot your password?
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Change your header photo
your image
 
Change
your image
Uh Oh!

The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.

Ok
First name
Last name
Enter a first and last name. For example, "Richard Feynman"
Bio
0/160 characters
Edit Profile
Account Settings
Save
Cancel
Suggested Reads
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. You will now be redirected to the sign in page, or you can click here
Ok
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill
You must provide an email
This email is already registered
Continue
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
 
your image
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Welcome FirstName!
You are now a Gates Notes Insider
Update Your Profile Information
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Select Your Interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Continue
Confirm
Are you sure you want to
deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
This verification token has expired.
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
The blog of Bill Gates
Good News You May Have Missed in 2014
 
Hello, . . My Profile & Settings
Log out
FOLLOW ME
It looks like you're using an older version of Internet Explorer which may not display all the features on this site. Upgrade Now » close
Close Comments
By

Discussion
comments powered by Disqus
Looking Up
Good News You May Have Missed in 2014
scroll
Looking Up

I ended 2013 by compiling something slightly unusual: a list of some of the good news you might have missed. I thought it was a pretty good note to end the year on, and people seemed to like reading about some of the ways the world is becoming a better place. This year, I thought I’d do it again.

Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that it’s been a turbulent year, in the United States and many other countries. But it’s worth taking a moment to celebrate some of the good news too. More children are surviving than ever before. We’re making progress against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. These are some of the most fundamental ways to measure the world’s progress—and by that measure, 2014 was definitely another good year.

More Fifth Birthdays Than Ever Before

To me, one of the best ways to measure progress is to look at how many children are dying of preventable causes. And today, more kids are living to see their fifth birthday than ever before. This year, for at least the 42nd year in a row, the child mortality rate has fallen. And it’s not just moving in the right direction—it’s falling faster than anyone expected. The Economist ran a great article about this in September, where it estimated that just since 2001, the world has saved 13.6 million children’s lives. It’s hard to think of a better sign the world is improving.

Test caption
We Hit a Big Milestone in Fighting AIDS

The world has done an impressive job of providing treatment to people living with HIV. But for years we were falling behind, because for all the people who started getting treatment, even more would become infected. Not anymore, though. New data released this month show that 2013 was the first year when more people started getting treatment than became infected with HIV. Why does that matter? Because treating people not only keeps them alive, it also dramatically reduces the odds that they will pass the virus on to anyone else. As the epidemiologists say, we can start to bend the curve of the disease. We still have a long way to go before we can declare the end of AIDS, but this is a big milestone.

Test caption
Rotavirus Vaccine is Reaching More Kids Than Ever

When I read an article in the late 1990s that mentioned a diarrheal disease called rotavirus killed hundreds of thousands of kids a year, I couldn’t believe something I’d never even heard of was killing that many children. But rotavirus doesn’t get much press because it’s almost never deadly in rich countries—and the world tends to ignore diseases that only affect the world’s poorest people. In many ways, rotavirus was a catalyst for my commitment to global health—in fact, one of our foundation’s first grants supported efforts against rotavirus. Since then, the number of kids dying from this illness has been cut nearly in half thanks to a cheap and effective vaccine. And today, that vaccine is reaching more kids than ever before. For example in India, where rota kills nearly 80,000 children a year, the government decided this year to deliver the vaccine for free to poor children. And manufacturers there are working on a more affordable vaccine that could reach even more children in the coming years.

Test caption
A Tuberculosis Breakthrough—Finally

The world is way overdue for a better tuberculosis treatment. TB is one of the world’s leading causes of death, and our existing treatments are inadequate—especially for drug resistant forms of the disease. But efforts to improve them have been stalled for decades. So it’s a big deal that earlier this year, scientists announced that a new TB treatment regimen has proven effective in early-phase research. From here, the drug regimen goes on to a large clinical trial to confirm the results. If this new treatment regimen pans out, it could dramatically reduce the time it takes to cure drug-resistant TB and save poor countries billions of dollars in health-care costs.

Test caption
Nigeria’s Fight Against Polio Helped Its Fight Against Ebola

A lot of the media coverage about Nigeria this year focused on two things: Ebola and terrorism. Both are frightening, and they masked the fact that from a global health perspective, Nigeria actually had a pretty good year. Although it’s one of only three countries that have never been free from polio (Pakistan and Afghanistan are the other two), I don’t think it will be on that list for long. Nigeria has reported only six cases of polio this year, compared to more than 50 last year. What’s more, the infrastructure Nigeria has built to fight polio actually made it easier for them to swiftly contain Ebola. The fact that Nigeria is now Ebola free is a great example of how doing the work to fight things like fighting polio also leaves countries better prepared to deal with outbreaks of other diseases.

Test caption
Looking Ahead

One more thing: this January, Melinda and I will publish our annual letter. This year, we’re looking ahead to 2030. We’ll be writing about a few areas—from health to farming and banking—where life will really change, especially for people in some of the world’s poorest places. (Spoiler alert: we think there’s a lot more progress ahead.) If you’d like to get an e-mail notice when the letter is out, you can sign up below.

Test caption
Become a Gates Notes Insider for access to exclusive content and personalized reading suggestions

Read previous versions of the Annual Letter