Gates seeks partnership with South Korea on global health

SEOUL – Bill Gates on Tuesday urged South Korea to further step up international efforts to prevent infectious diseases like COVID-19, stressing that the world needs to be better prepared for the next pandemic.

Speaking to South Korean lawmakers in Seoul, Gates called for greater international cooperation, including efforts to develop vaccines that would be effective for a broader spectrum of coronaviruses, to address what he called a “crisis moment” in global health.

He said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the South Korean government are committed to a partnership aimed at addressing health disparities between countries and supporting efforts to eradicate infectious diseases in the developing world.

Noting South Korea’s strength in public health, research and vaccine manufacturing, he hailed the country’s pledge to donate $200 million to the United Nations-backed COVAX distribution program, which will provide COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income countries provides income.

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“We need to do a lot together — we need to dig deeper, we need to build more partnerships, we need to encourage scientists,” Gates said during his speech to the National Assembly. “But I am confident that with these steps we can continue to radically improve global health, cut the number of children dying in half again, eradicate diseases like polio, measles and malaria and improve the lives of all people.”

Gates later met with executives from SK Business Group to discuss further collaboration on healthcare projects. SK’s pharmaceutical arm, SK Bioscience, makes COVID-19 vaccines and has received funding from the Gates Foundation to develop nasal sprays aimed at helping prevent coronavirus infections.

Gates also met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday.

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https://www.local10.com/health/2022/08/16/gates-eyes-partnership-with-south-korea-over-global-health/ Gates seeks partnership with South Korea on global health

Sarah Y. Kim

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