January 12, 2012 makes it a full year since there has been a Polio case in India. It is a major step for eliminating the Polio Virus there. India is one of only four countries (the others are Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, known by the acronym PAIN) where polio is said to be recurring, spreading within a country but not coming from an individual country.

Rotary International, along with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the WHO and UNICEF have reached it by working hard for decades. But without the support and advocacy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation it wouldn’t have gotten this far. Eliminating Polio is a centerpiece of Bill Gates efforts to use his fortune from Microsoft to change the world.

The Gates Foundation released the below statement in this regard:

  • This is a major milestone in the global fight against polio. Children in India are now protected against this debilitating, but preventable disease, bringing us one step closer to saving and improving the lives of all children.

 

  • Polio can be stopped when countries combine the right elements – political will, quality immunization campaigns, and an entire nation’s determination. We must build on this historic moment and ensure that India’s polio program continues to move full-steam ahead until eradication is achieved.

 

  • By continuing to raise the funds needed to run the global campaign, world leaders can ultimately save billions of dollars and help to ensure that no child ever suffers from this crippling disease again.

 

  • I congratulate the Government of India, Prime Minister Singh, Union Health Minister Azad, the Chief Ministers – especially of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal – and the millions of individuals who have contributed to this success. India’s story illustrates the possibility of tremendous progress even in the face of difficult economic times, a challenging environment and competing development needs. Partnerships and innovation are key to saving lives and creating economic opportunity for people living in poverty throughout the world.

We are proud to have people like Bill Gates who are doing such commendable works for the benefit of the society as a whole.

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