Bill Gates Seeks Additional $1.5B In Donations For Polio Eradication Efforts

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “is seeking a further $1.5 billion in donations to wipe out polio by 2018 and make it the first infectious disease eradicated since smallpox was wiped from the planet in 1979,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “The billionaire, who is contributing about $1.8 billion to the cause through the [Gates Foundation], is pressing rich nations to donate to the $5.5 billion Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 to globally eradicate the disease over the next six years,” the news service notes (Bianchi, 4/25). “Addressing a crowd of hundreds to start the two-day [Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday], Gates said the eradication of the deadly disease was tantalizingly close. Today, there are the fewest polio cases in the fewest countries ever,” The National writes. But “[t]he job, he said, was not yet done with polio still endemic in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the newspaper adds (Bell, 4/25). Mashable “spoke with Gates prior to the Global Vaccine Summit” about the use of vaccines as a strategy to stop the disease (Fox, 4/24).