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Dr. Rajeev Venkayya Joins Gates Foundation as Director of Global Health Delivery
Date:1/22/2008

Will oversee efforts to expand access to effective health solutions in

developing countries

SEATTLE, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that Dr. Rajeev Venkayya has joined the Global Health Program as director of Global Health Delivery. Dr. Venkayya is a medical doctor and former coordinator of U.S. government medical and public health efforts, including preparations for a potential influenza pandemic.

Dr. Venkayya will oversee the Gates Foundation's efforts to help expand the availability of, and access to, effective vaccines, drugs, and other health solutions in the developing world. He will also lead efforts to prepare for delivery of future health solutions.

"A number of important health interventions currently in late-stage development could be on the market in the next several years. We want to ensure that these life-saving solutions reach those who need them most," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the foundation's Global Health Program. "Rajeev brings a wealth of experience as both a physician and senior health policy strategist, and we're fortunate to have him heading our efforts in this area."

The foundation's Global Health Delivery team coordinates late-stage development of foundation-funded health technologies and interventions through clinical trials and regulatory approval. The Delivery team also identifies ways to ensure adequate financing to purchase vaccines and drugs, strengthen health supply and distribution systems, address shortages of health workers, and increase public awareness about health.

"Every year, millions of people in poor countries die from preventable causes because they do not receive basic health services taken for granted in rich countries," Dr. Venkayya said. "I look forward to working with the foundation's grantees and partners to address this critical challenge."

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SOURCE Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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