Melinda Gates' recipe for health care success

A mother in Ethiopia with her newborn child. Melinda Gates says the global health community should work together, think strategically and learn to do follow-ups when addressing health needs of the poorest communities. Photo by: Gates Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

For effective health care, the development community needs to work together, think strategically and learn to do follow-ups.

These are things Melinda Gates wishes donors, aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations to adopt in addressing health needs of the poorest communities, especially women and children. She learned these from Tsion Berhanu, who she met in Ethiopia.

The woman, Gates recalls in an opinion piece for Politico, provided contraceptives for those who asked for it, prenatal care when they got pregnant, nutrition advice for their newborns and immunization for their children. If she could, she also treated them when they are sick, referred them to hospitals and taught them how to “store clean water and build sanitary pit latrines.”

Gates, co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the development community has more resources than Berhanu. If one woman can do it, then the global health community could too.

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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.