Photo: Per Thrana/SMK.Photo: Per Thrana/SMK

PM Stoltenberg and Gates: Progress on global health

1/23/2013 // Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Bill Gates met in Oslo on the 22nd of January to discuss how to reach the Millennium Development Goals on global health. Progress is made, but work still needs to be done.

Watch their conversation here, and more photos here.

Introduced as “the two titans from the health industry” they have contributed on reaching the millennium development goals with their work through the Norwegian government and through Gates’ “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”. Even though some of the goals will not be reached by 2015, they are optimistic because of the progress they see.

“The history of the millennium development goals is a history showing that it matters, it is possible to move forward, it is possible to make the world a better place”, the Prime Minister said.

Stoltenberg pointed out that when he and Gates talk about progress, it does not mean that the goals are reached. But still, to reduce child mortality by 5 million children every year, is progress. And it is important to learn from the countries that are making progress, so it can be implemented in the countries with less progress. Stoltenberg addressed part of the success of vaccination fund GAVI to its result based financing. The countries get paid for each child immunized which is a way of mobilizing national obligation.

Bill Gates said that there will be a reduction in child mortality with 50 percent in 2015. And believe that the reason this is achieved is because global actors are working in partnership with development countries, and the countries are very committed. They are seeing what can be done; they see countries on every continent succeeding. And that is driving this forward.

Gates pointed to that throughout history, rich children have been the first ones to receive vaccines. Now, poor children get vaccination faster, thanks to GAVI. Science will continue to develop over the next 15 years, resulting in new vaccines. For example there still is no vaccination against malaria.

Both Stoltenberg and Gates believe in partnerships between private and public sector, which have developed significantly during the last 15 years and contributed to progress on the Millennium Development Goals.

Stoltenberg argued that if we are going to reach the millennium development goals we have to mobilize more development aid, and better development aid. He thinks the partnerships with the Gates foundation and other donors have a double positive effect. It increases the financial resources, and it also gives a better understanding on how to make efficient development aid. 

“And therefore I am strongly in favor of private donors. Partly because they give us money, but also because they provide us with a culture of cost effectiveness which is important for the whole development community”, the Prime Minister stated.

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