Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates visits Queen Mary University in Mile End
PUBLISHED: 13:07 29 January 2019
Jonathan Cole Photography Ltd
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told students at Queen Mary University that malnutrition and obesity will become major global public health issues in the future.
The billionaire gave an inspirational talk and took part in a Q&A to a packed audience during a visit to the university in Mile End last Friday.
When asked by a student medic about the healthcare issues likely to present a challenge in the next 20 to 30 years he said they would be malnutrition, but also obesity for the ‘rich world’.
“The one that is super underinvested in is malnutrition,” he said.
“It turns out that kids who have limited diets, their microbiome gets into an inflammatory state and they’re not able to absorb nutrition and that becomes a chronic thing.
“I still put malnutrition at the top even though the top 10 includes HIV vaccine and the TB vaccine.”
The Q&A was moderated by Dr Shahidha Bari, a senior lecturer in romanticism at the uni who is also a regular broadcaster on BBC radio.
Students also asked him about his interests in education, technology, philanthropy and why he chose to visit their particular university.
In response, he said: “Queen Mary was appealing because I’ve never been here before and yet the fact that this is a research university doing a lot of great work and it’s very diverse and it’s very engaged in the community I was fascinated by that, I thought it would be a great group of kids to answer questions with.
“Students are the people that are open minded and are going to shape where things go.”
Afia Ahmad, a second year student at Queen Mary studying accounting and management, said: “Bill Gates has done phenomenal work for promoting equity in health and opportunity around the world which is one of the core values of Queen Mary and I think having him here with us was an invaluable opportunity for students to learn from his life experiences.”
Professor Colin Bailey, president and principal of Queen Mary, added: “We were delighted to welcome Bill Gates to Queen Mary and to provide our students with an opportunity to speak with such an inspiring and influential person.
“His work has shaped the world we live in and we share his passion in tackling a number of global issues through our own academic research. Hopefully the event will encourage our students to think about what can be achieved throughout their lives.”