Bill Gates Meets Ramadoss, lauds polio eradication efforts

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) Co-chairs of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates and his father William Gates Sr today called on Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and lauded efforts made by India for polio eradication.

During the meeting, wide ranging issues from the health sector were discussed. Mr Gates was apprised of strides made in key areas of Polio, National Rural Health Mission, HIV/AIDS Control and Anti-tobacco efforts.

He also attended a Round Table meeting on Polio at which new initiatives taken by the Government for complete eradication of the disease from the country were discussed.

Describing the polio programme of India as the biggest health programme anywhere in the world which covers about 172 million children in one round, the Health Minister said the initiative has consistently accounted for more Government funds in the annual budget than any other communicable disease programme. The discussion also focussed on high risk regions and population at risk and intensified efforts to deal with the situation.

Mr Gates thanked the Indian Government for making polio eradication a top priority. He congratulated for work done in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (including WHO, UNICEF ROTARY and CDC.) and expressed confidence that with additional tools to enhance current efforts, polio can be successfully eradicated from India.

Apart from Dr Ramadoss and Mr Gates, the Polio Round Table was attended by senior officers of the Union Health Ministry and Planning Commission, senior members of the Gates Foundation, WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International.

UNI AJ AKJ HT1840

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