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Bill & Melinda Gates’ bet: Child deaths will fall by half by 2030

January 23rd, 2015
07:24 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Fifteen years ago, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and his wife Melinda started a foundation aimed at reducing poverty and improving healthcare.

Since then, they have given away more than $30 billion in grants, investing heavily in the fight against diseases such as Malaria, polio and pneumonia.

This year the Gates decided to raise the bar and, in their 2015 Annual Letter, they announced their next bet: child deaths will go down by half by 2030 as a result of vaccines, better sanitation and other improvements.

“We've brought down child mortality. We've cut it in half and you'll have 25 years. That's incredible,” Melinda Gates told CNN’s Amanpour in an interview that aired Thursday.

“If we focus on it, yet again, you can cut that childhood death down again in the next 15 years by half if you give kids an education. Getting a child into school, boys and girls, changes the whole pattern,” she added.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Exclusive: Liberian President video diary

November 24th, 2014
03:00 PM ET

Imagine a world that could be winning the fight against Ebola.

On Monday, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urged her people to redouble their efforts in an ambitious bid to wipe out the virus in her country by Christmas day.

The President has traveled to some of the worst affected areas, and she spoke about coming face to face with the deadly disease in an exclusive video diary for the Amanpour program.

Click above to watch.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Imagine a World • Latest Episode • Liberia

Ebola containment within reach, says Sierra Leone President

October 24th, 2014
11:54 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Despite a slow international response and a country struggling to emerge from war, Sierra Leone may soon be able to control the outbreak of Ebola, President Ernest Bai Koroma told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“The response we had expected was not in on time, and that created a situation [in] which we had the virus way ahead of us. We are now trying to cope.”

“There has been an increase in international response. And I believe the structures we are now putting in place – very soon we will get to the point wherein we will be able to contain the virus.”

The World Health Organization estimates that there have been 3,706 Ebola cases in Sierra Leone and 1,259 deaths since the outbreak began.

Ebola “transmission remains intense in Sierra Leone,” WHO says, and has now documented cases in every district of the country.

The government has come under criticism for not treating patients in their homes, and only at large facilities.

“We don’t treat people at home as a matter of government policy. In fact, we do appeal to families to bring out sick people. And what we have a challenge on is limited bed capacities in our treatment centers.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Beijing as perplexed as the West by Kim Jong Un’s disappearance

October 23rd, 2014
03:22 AM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Chinese authorities were just as bewildered by North Korean Kim Jong-Un’s mysterious absence from public life as the rest of the world, a former Chinese ambassador who now advises the Foreign Ministry told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

“We don't know what happened - he disappeared and then he appeared again. We don’t know what happened in the meantime,” Ambassador Wu Jianmin said with a laugh.

After remaining out of the spotlight for over a month, Kim Jong-Un made an equally mysterious reappearance and offered no explanation for his prolonged absence. Wu said he found the 32-year-old leader “quite mysterious”.

“The Chinese leader has had no direct contact with him apart from the vice president, Yuanchao. He went to Korea, he met with him, and Xi Jinping had no meeting since,” he said.

Wu has previously served as ambassador to France and the United Nations in Geneva. He now sits on an advisory panel for the foreign ministry, and is an associate at the London School of Economics' "IDEAS" program.


Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • North Korea

World Bank President says restricting travel for Ebola-affected countries not the solution

October 22nd, 2014
03:13 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The world has coalesced around a “much better strategy” in the Ebola fight, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, but emphasized that there should be no move towards restricting travel to and from the most-affected West African countries.

“It’s extremely important not to isolate these three countries,” he said. “One of the things as a medical doctor – and especially for Ebola – one of the greatest tools we have is to elicit what we call a ‘travel history’ – where have you been.”

“And if we isolate these three countries then we’re going to lose the travel history, because there’s going to be such a temptation to lie about where you’ve been, especially if you’ve been in these three countries.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Nothing is slowing Ebola so far, says epidemiologist, but vaccines promising

October 16th, 2014
03:37 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Ebola is spreading as such a rate that it is outrunning all efforts to contain it, Roy Anderson, professor of infectious disease epidemiology and former chief scientist at the British Ministry of Defence, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“Those hospitals [in West Africa] have got to be able to deal with and quarantine a very large number of patients,” he said. “So what’s feared is that the doubling time of this epidemic is going to escape the Western response at present.”

“I’m not totally convinced that these hospitals will actually slow the spread significantly.”

Because there is neither a drug to treat infected patients nor a vaccine to protect potential ones, the only option medical workers have right now to prevent the spread are efforts to quarantine people who are infected.

“Although they may slow the spread, and we need more resources to do that, longer term the solutions must be either immunotherapy, which is putting serum into infected patients, but most importantly of course in the longer term, a vaccine.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Ebola could be under control by end of the year, says U.N.

October 13th, 2014
03:20 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Despite worrying developments about the spread of Ebola internationally and devastating mortality in West Africa, the epidemic could be “under control” by the end of the year, the U.N. Ebola envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Owing to an “extraordinary and totally unprecedented response” by the international community, the rate at which Ebola cases are increasing could be slowed, he said, by the end of December – “bend[ing] the epidemic curve down.”

“At the moment, the outbreak curve is increasing exponentially. That means we’re doubling every three to four weeks.”

“Being fully controlled is when transmission completely stops, and that will take a bit more time, after the end of this year.”

“We do need to make sure that we can get all the resources in place in time to support the governments with their response. And if anything gets in the way, then it may be difficult to hit that target.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Ebola battle through nurse's eyes

October 9th, 2014
06:23 AM ET

CNN's Nima Elbagir reports on the desperate effort to save Ebola patients from the viewpoint of those taking care of them.

Click above to watch.

Filed under:  Ebola • Latest Episode • Liberia

‘Great momentum’ building for U.S. Ebola operation in Liberia

October 8th, 2014
02:34 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

There is “great momentum” building for the United States Ebola operation in Liberia, the top American diplomatic and military officials told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called Ebola a “national security threat” and is deploying up to 4,000 troops to Liberia, though that operation has been slow to get off the ground.

The U.S. is not sending any military doctors to work directly with Ebola patients, but Major General Darryl Williams said there would be some doctors working in the country.

“We are providing from the Human Health Services some doctors who will arrive here very shortly, to man the twenty-five-bed Monrovia Medical Unit.”

“But the Ebola treatment units … we've been asked to build up to seventeen of these Ebola treatment units.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

'Extraordinary' race for Ebola vaccine raises ethical questions

October 8th, 2014
04:26 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

(CNN) - The "extraordinary" rush to develop an Ebola vaccine is moving forward apace, the lead researcher told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, adding that the fast pace may engender ethical concerns about how it the vaccine is eventually implemented.

"This is, frankly, extraordinary," Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University said. "We are trying to do in a few months something that might typically take 10 years. We've had accelerated reviews of all our applications, regulatory and ethical approvals, and so on."

"And we're now trying to proceed so quickly that if things go well, by the end of the year, this vaccine might actually be being used in the three affected countries in West Africa."


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode
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