The Gates Foundation

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Improving health care in developing nations throughout the world is one of the main goals of the Gates Foundation, begun by Bill and Melinda Gates. Headed by Gates' dad, retired attorney Bill Gates, Sr., the foundation had assets of $24 billion as of early 2002. Among the group's goals is to help poor countries, which carry the burden of 90 percent of disease but have few health care resources to combat it. The foundation seeks to provide medications to fight easily curable diseases, make vaccinations for measles and other childhood diseases readily available, and improve conditions and thereby significantly lessen infant and maternal mortality rates. They seek to make quality heath care a basic human right.