Karzai, Gates discuss anti-polio campaign
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Saturday discussed the need for greater polio elimination efforts with Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, renowned philanthropist and founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“President Karzai spoke over the telephone with Bill Gates … to discuss the need for enhanced efforts to eradicate polio in Afghanistan,” a statement from the Presidential Palace said. The two sides agreed the polio immunisation needed to be intensified.
“In order to maximise the effect of the anti-polio campaign, quarterly meetings were important to be held with the governors of the provinces still affected by the viral disease,” the president added.
Across the globe, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation runs projects to eradicate polio and has been helping efforts to fight the disease.
Gates urged the developed world to “get serious” about eradicating polio from Afghanistan and Pakistan as one of the most productive ways of stabilising the region.
He has pledged id="mce_marker"0 billion to vaccination work over the next decade and will make a series of announcements this week in support of the drive. Afghanistan and Pakistan are among the three regions in the world where the virus remains endemic.
The Ministry of Public Health says 38 polio cases were detected in Afghanistan last year. Since March 21, two more cases have been reported so far.
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