Bill Gates praises India's drive against polio

Bill Gates
New Delhi, Jan 10: Asking other countries to draw inspiration from India in their polio eradication drive, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the country not reporting a single polio case over the last year is a major milestone in the global health sector.

In a statement issued on the official website of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he claimed of having come face to face with the polio menace during his visit to India around four years back. He further mentioned that in 2009 India had the maximum number of polio cases in the world, but the entire scenario has undergone a string of positive changes in the past few years.

Gates said, "The coming Friday will mark a period of one year since last polio case was reported in India. It is a achievement for the country." Applauding the Indian efforts in fighting polio, he maintained that it is a major milestone in the history of the global health sector.

Appreciating the country's resoluteness in fighting polio, he maintained that it has overcome several stumbling blocks like increasing population and reaching out to a large number of people to make the drive a success.

He said, "India took realistic steps in this regard. Indian government provided the required financial support for polio eradication, 20 lakh volunteers set up eight lakh vaccination centres in schools, hospitals and community centres on two occasions last year." Gates added that more than 17.20 crore Indian children have benefited from the drive.

"Volunteers with the support of Rotary organisation, WHO and UNICEF have set up a proper mechanism to provide medical benefits to deprived children," he added. While praising Indian efforts, Gates said that the global fight against polio is yet far from over. He stated, "A constant flow of funds will be required to prevent the spread of polio menace in countries like China and Russia." 


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