Peter Small

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Gates Foundation TB chief demotes himself, heads to India | 

Gates Foundation

Peter Small in India

Peter Small wanted to get back on the front lines.

Small, who qualifies as one of the old-timers at the Gates Foundation having started there in 2002, has stepped down as head of the tuberculosis program at the philanthropy and moved — with his two young children and wife — to New Delhi to help fight one of the world’s biggest, and somewhat neglected, killers.

“I wanted to be there on the ground, engaging with the people who are doing the hard work,” said Small.

Tuberculosis kills nearly two million people every year. One of every three people on the planet are infected with the bacterium. And the potentially deadly bug is becoming increasingly resistant to drugs.

It’s a modern plague fought with an inaccurate diagnostic test developed before cars were invented, a frequently ineffective vaccine created during the (last) Great Depression and 50-year-old drugs. Continue reading