Gates Foundation and Rotary Pledge $200 Million to Fight Polio

Posted on November 26, 2007  Comments (3)

Did you think polio was cured decades ago? Well in the rich world is largely has been but it has not been eradicated everywhere. Gates Foundation, Rotary pledge $200 million to fight polio:

Scientists and public health professionals have been debating whether eradication is possible. Some have argued that resources should be directed at trying to contain the disease, which would be far less costly than trying to eliminate it entirely. That idea was dismissed at today’s announcement. “Eradicating polio is an achievable goal,” said William Gates Sr., co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, said: “We have very few opportunities to improve the world in a permanent way. And this is one.” Polio has stricken untold millions around the world. In 1952, its peak year in the U.S., it paralyzed more than 20,000 Americans. But it became a disease of the past in this country after the discovery of a preventive vaccine in the 1950s and universal immunization.

The Gates grant comes at a critical time for the global initiative, which faces a funding shortfall of $650 million, officials said. Most of the initial $100 million will be spent on mass immunization campaigns, poliovirus surveillance activities, and community education and outreach in polio-affected countries.

In recent years, importation of the disease from affected areas into countries where the disease had been eliminated has set back eradication efforts. But last month the World Health Organization released data indicating that the last four polio-endemic countries were within reach of wiping out the disease. The health authority said significant progress had been made in India and Nigeria, which together account for 85 percent of the world’s polio cases.

Related: Indonesian Polio EpidemicRiver Blindness Worm Develops Resistance to DrugsGates Millennium ScholarsInternship with Bill GatesBill Gates Interview from 1993

3 Responses to “Gates Foundation and Rotary Pledge $200 Million to Fight Polio”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Learning from Leprosy Diagnosis
    May 27th, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

    “About 300,000 new cases of leprosy are diagnosed annually, according to the World Health Organization. Now known as Hansen’s disease, after the Norwegian scientist who discovered the mycobacterium that causes the illness…”

  2. Gates
    December 24th, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

    “We have very few opportunities to improve the world in a permanent way.” – i do not agree with this as it is not very correct!

  3. 40 Billionaires Pledge to Donate Half Their Wealth at Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
    August 5th, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    […] Rich Americans Sue to Keep Evidence of Their Tax Evasion From the Justice Department – Gates Foundation and Rotary Pledge $200 Million to Fight Polio August 5th, 2010 by John Hunter | Leave a Comment | Tags: Cool, Economics, Personal […]

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