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Gates’s Investment In Alzheimer’s Suggests Expansion Of Public Health Agenda To Include Aging Population

HuffPost: Bill Gates, Alzheimer’s, and an Aging Health Agenda
Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging

“…[T]he … impact of the $100 million [Bill] Gates has now donated to find the cure for Alzheimer’s is the literal and profound reframing of global public health now and forever defined by the health needs of our aging global society. Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB have not been fully conquered, but with the most visible and energetic of the establishment philanthropists turning his sights to the disease of aging — Alzheimer’s — we have forever reimagined the contours of global public health. … In explaining why he’s making this donation, Gates identified five areas where he believes we need to see progress: better understanding the disease; better diagnostics; a more diverse drug pipeline; faster clinical trials; and better use of data. While each of these areas is absolutely valid and worthy of the Gates funding, it is worth asking: what else? As we reboot our public health agenda, other issues also emerge: Caregiving inside the home. … [Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)], active aging, and functional ability. … This is new — this idea that good health policy can enable functional ability for conditions of aging as well as diseases that afflict — and this is what Gates is effectively achieving by moving his philanthropy from the targets of last century to the needs of this one…” (11/13).

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