CHAPTER 3

THE GENERAL’S CHARGE

Strategic Questions

BILL AND MELINDA GATES didn’t just wake up one morning and decide, over a bowl of organic oatmeal, to throw themselves and their money at the fight against malaria. They knew the terrible toll of the disease—symptoms that usually appear within two weeks of the mosquito bite: fever, chills, headache, and vomiting. They knew that, if not treated within twenty-four hours, the illness can become acute and kill. They’d seen the data: The disease was afflicting up to 300 million people a year. Most were pregnant women and children. Most were in Africa.

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With their vast wealth and giant foundation, they were looking for philanthropic investments that could make the biggest difference for the most ...

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