Sue Desmond-Hellmann on inequality and health

To Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann, inequality is when the benefits of science, technology, and innovation aren’t available to everyone in the world. In an effort to close this gap, she says, “we look at health as a driver towards equality.”


SUE DESMOND-HELLMAN: Inequality is when the best of science, technology, pace, enthusiasm, isn’t available for every single human being in the world.

[Inequality is logo. A graphic black equal sign with an orange slash through it. #InequalityIs. Sue Desmond-Hellman, CEO, Gates Foundation. A white woman with short blond hair and a bright blue shirt and matching blazer.]

Inequality of access to a working health system has repercussions that are desperately sad and difficult. Not only for the countries involved, but in fact, have a big impact and implications for the whole world. So we look at health as a driver towards equality. We think about when markets have neglected the poor, when those normal market forces or the new technology or the great innovations don’t get to the poor, so we started talking about precision public health making all that great data information technology breakthroughs available for populations, no matter what their income. My vision is that every young boy or young girl, when they’re born, has the opportunity to dream of anything. If you’re blessed with access to resources, education, health, anything seems possible. I want every child to believe that anything is possible.

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