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Yesterday afternoon following a visit to the University of Edinburgh, Bill Gates met the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The meeting allowed Mr Gates to hear first-hand about some of the work being carried out by NHS Scotland staff as part of The Scottish Government’s commitment to global health.

They watched a presentation on three different global health initiatives undertaken in Zambia, Ethiopia and Malawi.

The First Minister said: “I was delighted to welcome Bill Gates to Scotland and to introduce him to some of the fantastic international development work being undertaken by our NHS Scotland staff. I am grateful to each and every one of our nurses, clinicians and even engineers, who often give up their own time to do this life changing work.

“Scotland is an outward looking country and we will continue to be good global citizens and play our part in the fight against global poverty, inequality and injustice. That is why we have built strong links with our partner countries Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia and Pakistan, with a strong commitment to working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have an incredible record of bringing about substantial change in the world’s poorest countries, empowering them to improve their life chances in a range of ways, from improving healthcare and combatting infectious diseases to increasing access to education. It is fantastic that they are interested in hearing about the work that Scotland is also doing.”

Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “The Scottish Global Health Collaborative is a really smart idea. We know from the Ebola outbreak that a health crisis somewhere can soon become a health crisis everywhere. Expertise from countries like the UK was critical in containing that outbreak. And it was great to hear how the experience and ideas that Scottish health workers are bringing back from their work in Africa is being used to improve the health service here in Scotland. The contribution being made by participants in the programme will make a significant difference in the lives of the world’s poorest.”

Photos courtesy of The Scottish Government