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The Baltimore Sun


Priorities. They can save lives -- but do they also cost lives? The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $8.5 billion to global health causes, protecting millions of children from scourges such as malaria and measles and helping to slow AIDS deaths in much of Africa. But a Times investigation shows that focusing on certain diseases has had mixed influences on key measures of societal health. Here, in the south African nation of Lesotho, nurse-midwife Lillo Kuape rushes barely breathing newborn Mankuebe Nyoba to a hospital's intensive-care nursery. A single valve allows six babies at a time to share oxygen, but lack of a second $35 valve meant there was no oxygen for Mankuebe, and she died.Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times