In Bill Gates' TED talk in 2010, 7:50 of The next outbreak? We're not ready, he says that

"The primary healthcare, the R&D, those things would reduce global health equity and make the world more just, as well as more safe.".

What does "global health equity" mean here? Does it mean it is fair for all people? If it means fair/equal for all, why should we reduce it instead of improve it?

  • 2
    I hear 'global health equity' as well, but in context it would make more sense if it were 'global health inequity.' It's possible he swallowed the beginning of the word or misspoke.
    – Katy
    Commented Mar 1, 2020 at 2:16
  • 1
    I added a comma because I read the last line as "[just as well] as more safe" and it didn't mske sense. The word "just" here means "do the right thing" and "fair".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 1, 2020 at 9:14
  • It's just a lapsus.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


I think you have the right general idea. Technically "equity" means the degree to which something is equal, so "global health equity" means "the degree that people around the globe have equal levels of health", or basically how much equality there is in healthiness amongst everyone.

As Katy Mar said in a comment, I suspect that Bill Gates simply misspoke here, and he really meant to say "reduce global health inequity". That is, he wants to reduce the amount of inequality in people's health around the globe, or make things more equal.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .