Microsoft’s Bill Gates and surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande team up on health


On the Money airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.

Philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates, and acclaimed author and surgeon Atul Gawande started their careers going down very different paths.

These days, the two are on a similar mission — figuring out how to solve complex health care issues on a global scale, from dispelling myths about vaccines to improving child mortality rates. And sometimes, the solutions are not as expensive as some may think.

More than 5 million children under the age of 5 died in 2016, and more than half of those deaths could have been prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable solutions, according to the World Health Organization.

Progress has been made: For example the under-5 mortality rate has dropped by 56 percent since 1990. However, the Microsoft founder argues a lot more can be done.

“Getting the personnel to do the right things, clearly we’ve seen in many cases, you can cut [childhood mortality rates] in half by good practices,” Gates said in an interview with CNBC.

For example, the philanthropist talked about how to keep a newborn from getting too cold, using a method called “Kangaroo Care.” The mother holds the baby skin-to-skin, and the baby’s body temperature will regulate.

But he said, it can be difficult in certain parts of the world to make sure these practices are being followed.

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