Bill Gates: We need a new approach to tackling epidemics

In this animated explainer, the entrepreneur and philanthropist outlines a new approach to disease outbreaks like Zika and Ebola.

Ebola, Zika, Sars… recent years have shown that we are often unprepared to briskly mobilise against the threat of rapid disease outbreaks. In an interconnected world, it’s crucial that budding illnesses are spotted and addressed before they spread and escalate into worldwide public health crises. One problem is the cost of developing new vaccines, which means that we do not have a means of protecting populations until it is too late. 

In a recent interview with the BBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates argued that this is one of the grand challenges humanity will face in coming years. To help find a solution, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have helped form the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (Cepi), which aims to develop and deploy vaccines that will help to contain emerging outbreaks. View the video above to hear more about Cepi’s grand vision.

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This animation is part of our ‘Grand Challenges’ series, a guide to the issues that define our age, using the insights of 50 experts working in science, technology and health

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