Bill Gates and his foundation declare war on polio

 

 

Polio has found a formidable opponent, the Gates Foundation. Bill and Melinda Gates, through their foundation, pledged to invest $1.2 billion to help eliminate polio from the planet once and for all, at an international health conference in Berlin.

“Polio eradication is within reach. But the disease remains a threat (…)”, said Bill Gates, co-chairman of the foundation, speaking via video conference at the World Health Summit held in the German capital.

The money will be given to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership whose goal is to eradicate polio, for which a vaccine exists, by 2026.

This highly contagious virus, which invades the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis, most often affects children under the age of five. But anyone who is not vaccinated can get it.

This aid plan has helped reduce polio cases by more than 99 percent worldwide and prevented more than 20 million cases of paralysis, the foundation said in a statement.

In fact, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where the wild poliovirus, the best-known form of the virus, remains endemic. But two African countries, Malawi and Mozambique, have also detected 2022 cases of wild polio imported on their territory.

“Despite historic progress in recent years, interruptions in routine immunization, misinformation about immunization, political unrest and the tragic floods in Pakistan in 2002 have underscored the urgency of completing the work on polio,” the foundation said.

On the other hand, there is a “worrying” factor: variants of the virus have been detected in countries from which the disease had disappeared, such as recently the United States or Great Britain, it underlines.

The GPEI includes the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), Rotary International and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is funded by public, private, and development bank partners.

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Bill Gates and his foundation declare war on polio

    Polio has found a formidable opponent, the Gates Foundation. Bill and Melinda Gates, through their foundation, pledged to invest $1.2 billion to help eliminate polio from the planet once and for all, at an international health conference in Berlin. "Polio eradication is within reach. But the disease remains a threat (...)", said Bill Gates, co-chairman of the foundation, speaking via video conference at the World Health Summit held in the German capital. The money will be given to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership whose goal is to eradicate polio, for which a vaccine exists, by 2026. This highly contagious virus, which invades the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis, most often affects children under the age of five. But anyone who is not vaccinated can get it. This aid plan has helped reduce polio cases by more than 99 percent worldwide and prevented more than 20 million cases of paralysis, the foundation said in a statement. In fact, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where the wild poliovirus, the best-known form of the virus, remains endemic. But two African countries, Malawi and Mozambique, have also detected 2022 cases of wild polio imported on their territory. "Despite historic progress in recent years, interruptions in routine immunization, misinformation about immunization, political unrest and the tragic floods in Pakistan in 2002 have underscored the urgency of completing the work on polio," the foundation said. On the other hand, there is a "worrying" factor: variants of the virus have been detected in countries from which the disease had disappeared, such as recently the United States or Great Britain, it underlines. The GPEI includes the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (Unicef), Rotary International and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is funded by public, private, and development bank partners.
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