Moredun and Pentlands Science Park were delighted to host a visit by Mr Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who was visiting GALVmed, (the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines) to discuss progress in the development of livestock vaccines and medicines for some of the 900 million people who rely on livestock to pay for their daily needs.
Bill Gates arrives at Moredun and meets Peter Wells, Chair of GALVmed and Chairman of Moredun Scientific, Julie Fitzpatrick Scientific Director and Chief Executive of Moredun and Peter Jeffries, Chief Executive of GALVmed, (Photo: Gary Doak. Courtesy of GALVmed).
The Gates Foundation is one of the principal funders of GALVmed, a not for profit UK based charity with the aim of improving the lives of people living in poverty by helping to create sustainable chains of livestock health products which are affordable to poor people.
GALVmed’s Chief Executive, Peter Jeffries said: “It was a privilege and an encouragement for us to be able to welcome Bill Gates to Scotland for his first visit to GALVmed. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has helped to facilitate enormous advances in human health, dramatically reducing infant mortality and greatly enhancing the lives and wellbeing of people living in extreme poverty. Healthy livestock plays a vital role in providing income for basic health care, school books and nutrition for millions of the world’s poorest people”.
Accompanied by senior staff from the Gates Foundation, Mr Gates spent two and a half hours in discussion with representatives of GALVmed and its partners who are experts in livestock and science from across the world. Mr Gates engaged throughout the meeting asking informed and constructively provocative questions. He was very encouraging about the breadth and the quality of the work being undertaken in the livestock health arena and emphasised the importance of delivering with impact for the lives of poor people and in doing so as quickly as possible.
Bill Gates signing the Visitors book at Moredun Research Institute, (Photo: Gary Doak, courtesy of GALVmed).
Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director and Chief Executive of Moredun and one of the Founders of GALVmed said: “ We are delighted to host this meeting and to welcome Bill Gates to Moredun and Pentlands Science Park. GALVmed, through support from the Gates Foundation, now works in over twenty countries with the aim of improving the health and welfare of livestock through the prevention and control of disease. Healthy livestock provide food, textiles, manure and traction bringing economic benefits and business opportunities to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty”.
GALVmed is based at Pentlands Science Park in Edinburgh and is a not-for-profit livestock health product development and adoption partnership organisation. It is working with and through partners to make livestock vaccines, medicines and diagnostics accessible to the millions for whom livestock is a lifeline. Around 900 million people living in poverty rely on their livestock for daily needs. When disease strikes, the loss of livestock or reduced production, impacts on food security, nutrition and the provision of education and basic healthcare, thus limiting choice and opportunity.
The Gates Foundation is one of the principal funders of GALVmed and has donated over £36 million into the Protecting livestock, saving human life programme, since 2008.