WHO official bewails Gates malaria research sway

Dr. Arata Kochi, who spearheads the malaria program at the World Health Organization, is unhappy with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s unrivaled clout in global malaria research. The WHO official believes this situation hinders a healthy set of diverse views among scientists, and undermines the agency’s policy-making duties. In Kochi’s memo to WHO director-general Margaret Chan, he conceded that, although the foundation’s money is important – around USD1.2 billion in malaria research since 2000 – it could generate “far-reaching, largely unintended consequences.” He noted that leading malaria scientists are now “locked up in a ‘cartel’ with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group.” According to WHO’s top malaria specialist, “each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others,” and gathering independent research proposal reviews “is becoming increasingly difficult.” WHO spokeswoman Christine McNab, however, clarified that Kochi’s statements reflect “the view of one department, not the WHO’s view.”

Source: Gates Foundation?s Influence Criticized (The New York Times)

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