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Published On: Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014

Bill Gates lauds FG over success polio containment

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By Doyin Ojosipe with agency report

American business magnate and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has lauded the Goodluck Jonathan administration for recording significant success in its fight against the endemic polio virus disease.

The co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, took to his official twitter handle, @BillGates, to celebrate the success, noting that it is one of his favourite stories of the year.

His foundation is at the vanguard of the campaign to end polio in Nigeria.

polioNigeHis tweet, with an accompany diagram and a website link, reads, “One of my favourite stories of 2014: In just one year, Nigeria went from 50 polio cases to 6…”

Commenting further on his personal note of “Good news you may have missed in 2014”, Gates stressed that ‘Nigeria had a pretty good year’, projecting that the country will be polio-free in no distant time. He said that the infrastructure Nigeria has built to fight polio actually made it easier for the country to contain the dreaded Ebola virus disease (EVD).

“A lot of the media coverage about Nigeria this year focused on two things: Ebola and terrorism. Both are frightening, and they masked the fact that from a global health perspective, Nigeria actually had a pretty good year. Although it’s one of only three countries that have never been free from polio (Pakistan and Afghanistan are the other two), I don’t think it will be on that list for long. Nigeria has reported only six cases of polio this year, compared to more than 50 last year.

“What’s more, the infrastructure Nigeria has built to fight polio actually made it easier for them to swiftly contain Ebola. The fact that Nigeria is now Ebola free is a great example of how doing the work to fight things like fighting polio also leaves countries better prepared to deal with outbreaks of other diseases,” the co-founder of Microsoft said.

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