The work of Scottish health workers around the world was praised by Bill Gates as he heard about initiatives in Africa.
The philanthropist met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at St Andrews House in Edinburgh and was given a presentation on the work being carried out by NHS Scotland staff in Zambia, Ethiopia and Malawi.
He 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. 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."
The First Minister said: "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 combating infectious diseases to increasing access to education. It is fantastic that they are interested in hearing about the work that Scotland is also doing."