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Opinion Pieces Address World Polio Day

Though the number of new polio cases has dropped by 99 percent over the past 20 years, World Polio Day is recognized “because we haven’t done enough yet,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in his blog, “The Gates Notes.” He continues, “The last one percent is the hardest percent, and we have to do even more than we’ve already done if we hope to finish the job on polio. The day the world is declared polio free is the day we can really begin celebrating” (10/21).

Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada, noting that global leaders will address polio this week at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia, writes in a Globe and Mail opinion piece, “Perhaps the most critical need is $541 million [Canadian dollars] to sustain efforts through 2012. But if we succeed in eradicating polio, this sum will pay for itself many times over and save countless children. If we fail, this disease threatens to continue crippling and killing children around the world” (10/24).