Mark Zuckerberg donates US$25m to fight Ebola: 5 other philanthropists who have given to health-related causes

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his doctor wife Priscilla Chan announced on Tuesday that they are donating US$25 million (S$31.9 million) to the United States' Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight the spread of Ebola. -- PHOTO: A
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his doctor wife Priscilla Chan announced on Tuesday that they are donating US$25 million (S$31.9 million) to the United States' Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight the spread of Ebola. -- PHOTO: AFP

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his doctor wife Priscilla Chan announced on Tuesday that they are donating US$25 million (S$31.9 million) to the United States' Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight the spread of Ebola.

Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post that he has been concerned about the outbreak, which has infected more than 8,000 people and claimed more than 4,000 lives since early this year.

The foundation said on Tuesday that the "magnificent" donation will be used for Ebola response efforts in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other places where the disease is a threat.

Here are five other philanthropists around the world who have donated primarily and generously to health-related causes:

1. Nike co-founder Phil Knight - US$725 million for cancer and cardiovascular research

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In 2013, the co-founder and chairman of Nike and his wife Penelope donated US$500 million to the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation, for a project to expand cancer research.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the couple pledged their donation on the condition that university officials will raise an additional US$500 million from other donors in two years.

The 76-year-old American had also given US$125 million to the foundation in 2012 for a cardiovascular institute, and US$100 million in 2008 for the university's cancer institute.

2. Indonesia's Mayapada Group chairman Dato Sri Tahir - US$100 million to combat polio and other diseases

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In 2013, the 62-year-old Indonesian tycoon and chairman of The Mayapada Group pledged US$100 million to help combat polio, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases with vaccination and education.

The campaign was backed by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which matched Tahir's donation, bringing the amount pledged to at least US$200 million, Forbes reported.

In April, Tahir also set up the Indonesia Health Fund with a US$40 million initial investment from eight Indonesian business leaders, and plans to raise at least US$100 million to fight tuberculosis and expand family-planning programs.

3. Singapore's Goh Foundation founder Goh Cheng Liang - $50 million for cancer research

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The 85-year-old's Goh Foundation donated $50 million to Singapore's National Cancer Centre, The Straits Times reported in March.

The money will go towards cancer research, and help set up South-east Asia's first proton therapy machine, which can provide cutting-edge radiation treatment for cancer patients.

Through his foundation, the magnate, who also founded Nippon Paint Singapore, had previously donated $10 million to the centre.

4. Australia's property mogul Clive Berghofer - A$60 million (S$66.8 million) for medical research

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The Toowoomba property developer and founder of the Clive Berghofer Group donated A$50 million to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research last August.

The 79-year-old had previously donated more than A$10 million to the institute in 2001, reported The Courier Mail.

The institute has been renamed the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in his honour.

5. South Korea's pop musician Cho Yong Pil - US$5.5 million to help children with heart disease

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After his wife died from a heart attack in 2003, the South Korean pop musician began helping children with heart disease.

The 64-year-old celebrity has contributed US$5.5 million to the cause so far, according to Forbes.

The money, which came partly from his concert proceeds and inheritance from his wife, often covers surgery costs for the children.

In 2009, he also set up the Cho Yong Pil Scholarship Foundation to provide living expenses and scholarships for needy students.

Sources: The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Forbes, The Courier Mail

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg