Bihar gets gift of health from Gates foundation

Posted By: Samyuktha
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Patna, May 13: Bill Gates may have left a frown on Indians' faces by denying his reported promises on helping Amethi for the progress of IT, but the founder of software giant Microsoft has vowed to aid various health projects in Bihar.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday, May 13 signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Bihar government to make medicare services and products availbale and accessible to several districts of the state.

"The Gates Foundation has its biggest focus on improving health. So, as we watched over the last few years, Bihar really makes a priority to improve health, including things like immunisation. We have been very impressed. So, during my last visit, the Chief Minister and I had a conversation that kicked off the discussions that led to today's Memorandum of Co-operation," said Bill Gates.

The MoC, which was signed in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, aims at improving and increasing the availability, quality and utilisation of health-care facilities and services.

The foundation will also particularly try to cut down the maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate in Bihar.

"There will be intervention by the foundation in eight districts, to scale up and improve the work that has already been started in the state. The projects in which they will support in these eight districts include work in the fields of pneumonia, diarrhoea, Kalaazar and tuberculosis," said Nitish Kumar.

On media reports of his promises to develop IT in UP's Amethi, Gates has clarified that he did not make any such promises and stressed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to aid the eradication of infectious diseases, including diarrhea diseases, tuberculosis, pneumonia and Kala-Azar.

“I did not make any promise in the IT sector in Amethi ... In fact, I have not spoken anything on the IT during the past one week," said Mr Gates, who visited UP's Amethi with Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

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