Science and Tech


Bill Gates Makes His Largest Charitable Donation In 17 Years

Following a $4.6 billion gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates announced his new "Mosquito Wars" project.
Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 15, 2017

Bill Gates recently made his largest charitable donation in 17 years

Earlier in June, Gates donated 64 million shares of Microsoft to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The shares were valued at $4.6 billion.

But we didn't find out until Tuesday what some of those donations were for. 

The billionaire announced on his blog a new "Mosquito Wars" project. For every person who reads the blog post, signs up or signs in with the project and takes a short quiz, Gates said he'll donate a bed net to a family in need. By the end of the giveaway, Gates hopes to distribute 100,000 nets.

Since 1999, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated over $7 billion to eradicate malaria and other infectious diseases. That money has gone to vaccine initiativestreatment improvements and research.

Beyond his foundation, Gates said global malaria funding went up by 1,000 percent between 2000 and 2015. And since the early 2000s, the number of malaria-related deaths has been cut in half.

Gates says that reduction is "nothing short of miraculous," but notes the world still has a long way to go. In 2015, there were about 212 million cases of malaria, as well as 429,000 deaths. Ninety percent of those cases were in sub-Saharan Africa.

New treatment and control initiatives include the aforementioned bed tents, new drugs, mosquito genome editing and sugar baits.

With these developments in disease control, Gates thinks the world can eradicate malaria within his lifetime.