World Polio Day is simultaneously a celebration and a call to action. It's a celebration because in the past 20 years, polio cases are down 99 percent. But it's also a call to action because we haven't done enough yet.
We have never had a vaccine for a parasitic disease, and the scientific complexity is dizzying. But at this week's Malaria Forum, I was pleased to announce the interim results of a trial for a vaccine candidate.
The numbers don't lie. Unemployment rates among Americans who never went to college are about double that of those who have a postsecondary education. And the need for highly-skilled workers is growing.
There is not a moment to waste when millions of people's lives and futures are at stake. This impatience is why I'm happy to be joining Twitter officially today as @melindagates. After all, what's more impatient than a tweet?
Today, millions of preventable child deaths and hundreds of thousands of needless maternal deaths still occur each year. To dramatically reduce these deaths, the world desperately needs more heroes on the front lines.
In my work at the foundation, I'm proud to highlight voices of the global effort to alleviate poverty, promote health and ensure that every student in the U.S. has an effective teacher. Witnessing this life-saving work firsthand has made me an optimist.
With the continued generosity of donors and the commitment of developing countries to reach every child, everywhere, the world will reach the point where the circumstances of a child's birth have nothing to do with whether he or she gets lifesaving vaccines.