Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates has signed a memorandum of understanding with a handful of Indonesian business leaders to establish a public-private partnership that will fight infectious diseases and work to expand access to family planning services in Indonesian archipelago, the Jakarta Post reports.
Drawing on commitments of $40 million from the Gates Foundation and $5 million each from eight Indonesian business leaders, the Indonesia Health Fund will support efforts over the next five years to tackle dengue fever, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in the country, as well as expand access to contraception. The program is part of a joint effort between the Gates Foundation and the Tahir Foundation, which was founded by Mayapada Group chair and Giving Pledge signatory Dato Sri Tahir. The partnership expects to leverage grants awarded by the two foundations last year to, among others, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Tuberculosis Alliance Drug Trial, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The business leaders contributing to the fund are Adrian Bramantyo Musyanif of Samali Hotels and Resorts; Hendro Gondokusumo of Intiland Development; Ted Sioeng of the Sioeng Group; Edward Suryadjaya of Ortus Holdings Ltd.; Benny Tjokrosaputro of Hanson International; Anne Patricia Sutanto of Pancaprima Ekabrothers; Henry Jaya Gunawan of Gala Bumi Perkasa; and Luntungan Honoris of Modernland Realty.
At the signing ceremony, Bill Gates reminded his audience that he had decided to focus his philanthropic work on global health causes because too many children around the globe continue to fall ill and die from preventable diseases. "I grew up in a country where health is taken for granted, but I've found that 5 percent of children in the world die [before they reach] the age of five. It turns out that a lot of medicine and vaccines are only available in rich countries."
(Photo: Jakarta Post)