Bill Gates lauds India's polio initiative

Co-chairs of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his father William Gates Sr. today called on union health minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss in New Delhi, today. Other senior members of the foundation met Ramadoss individually as well as during a round table meeting on polio.

The Gates were apprised of strides made in key areas of polio, national rural health mission, aids control and anti-tobacco. At the round table on polio, new initiatives taken by the government for complete eradication of polio from the country were discussed. Describing India's polio programme as one of the biggest health programmes anywhere in the world, covering around 172 million children in one round, Ramadoss said that the initiative had consistently accounted for more government funds in the annual budget than any other communicable disease programme.

The discussion also focussed on high risk regions and population at risk and intensified efforts to deal with the situation.

During the meeting Bill Gates complimented the Indian government for making polio eradication a top priority and its progress in partnership with the 'global polio eradication initiative (including WHO, UNICEF ROTARY and CDC.)

Gates was lso confident that with additional tools to enhance current efforts, polio could be successfully eradicated in India.

Apart from Dr Ramadoss and Gates, the Polio Round Table was attended by senior officers of the health ministry, the Planning Commission, senior members of the Gates Foundation, WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International.