Ban's goal: 5 diseases in 5 years

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters studio in 2010. Ban Ki-moon appeals to the delegates of the Forbes 400 Summit in New York to help out in the global issues of measles, cholera and tetanus. Photo by: Mark Garten/United Nations Photo / CC BY-NC-ND

How long will it take to end malaria, polio, tetanus, measles and HIV infections in newborns? Just five years, according to Ban Ki-moon.

“I ask all of you here to help us finish the job. Five diseases. Five years. We can do it,” the U.N. Secretary-General said on Wednesday before some of America’s richest at the second annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy in New York.

Ban appealed to philanthropists in attendance  from Bill Gates to Warren Buffett  to help turn the tide against these global health threats.

Of particular note were measles and tetanus, which he said were not getting enough international attention, but have “the same great potential for results.”

Ban also made a “special appeal” for cholera elimination in Haiti.

“What Haiti needs is a partner ready to provide $1 million a year for the next three to five years to underwrite free vaccines for the poor and vulnerable people who need them most,” added the U.N. chief.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.