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Frontline Health Workers, Funders Critical To Progress Against Polio

Project Syndicate: The Polio Heroes
Bill Gates, founder and technology adviser of the Microsoft Corporation and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The credit [for the progress against polio] goes to an international coalition of visionary people: the leaders who make polio eradication a high priority in their countries and the funders who underwrite the work of combating the disease. … [T]he stunning progress we’ve seen over the last three decades would not be possible without the volunteers and frontline health workers who go out — sometimes at the risk of their own lives — to make sure every child is protected. Whether navigating floods, hiking up treacherous mountains, or working in some of the world’s most conflict-ridden areas, 13 million children are alive and walking today because of these inspiring individuals. … Thanks to their efforts … we are achingly close to eradicating polio. Now we need to finish the job. I am optimistic that we will get there soon, through the diligence of those fighting the disease and the generosity of countries … that make their work possible…” (12/17).