In his year-end newsletter Bill Gates wants to celebrate some of the good news hidden in this turbulent year. Millions of dollars in grants from the Gates Foundation helped to bend the curb on deadly diseases and child deaths around the world.

“More children are surviving than ever before and we’re making progress against some of the world’s deadliest diseases,” he wrote. “These are some of the most fundamental ways to measure the world’s progress—and by that measure, 2014 was definitely another good year.”

The highlights:

– This year we saw a four-decade trend continue, with child mortality rates falling for those under age five. And it’s falling faster than anyone expected.

– The fight against AIDS hit a big milestone with data this month showing that for the first time more people began receiving treatment for the disease than people becoming infected with HIV. This trend will dramatically reduce the numbers of people that will become infected in the future.

– Tuberculosis is one of the world’s leading causes of death, but earlier this year, scientists announced the successful trials of a new TB treatment — the first in decades. Gates says, “If this new treatment regimen pans out, it could dramatically reduce the time it takes to cure drug-resistant TB and save poor countries billions of dollars in health-care costs.”

– Nigeria is one of only three countries that have never been free from polio (Pakistan and Afghanistan are the other two), but Gates doesn’t think it will be on that list for long. Nigeria has reported only six cases of polio this year, compared to more than 50 last year. The fact that Nigeria is now Ebola free is a great example of its health infrastructure at work.

(READ the more from GatesNotes.com)

Story tip from Aileen Jong LAc

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