Local Afghan Taliban leaders are restricting worldwide efforts to eradicate polio but Pakistan and Afghanistan need to continue their fight against polio, Bill Gates recently told Reuters over a phone call. Gates believes that they have gained success in reducing polio-virus case numbers globally, mainly due to intense national and regional immunization campaigns for babies and children.
Bill Gates is quite hopeful for the global plan to eradicate the paralyzing viral disease, but he also fears that Afghanistan’s conflict and power struggles restrain progress. Gates believes that among other minor hindrances in the region, “the big issue there is always with the Taliban.”
It must be kept in mind that the philanthropist Bill Gates, who has recently joined the $100 billion club, is also the founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an NGO which has been the biggest funders of the polio eradication campaign.
While talking to Reuters, Gates said, despite all the hindrances, their foundation is aiming to completely eradicate polio from Afghanistan and Pakistan. As he stated;
“We’ve got to get Afghanistan and Pakistan to zero. We need government donors to stay committed. (In Afghanistan, Taliban) decide what they will and what they won’t allow. That’s what we don’t have predictability or control over. Sometimes they stop the campaigns from taking place. But the ideal is when they allow house-to-house (vaccine) delivery.”
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, who is popular worldwide for his wealth, has a good relationship with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. Gates also said that during his reign, Mr. Khan has prioritized the polio fight and the global polio program is making progress in the country.
While praising the efforts done by our neighboring country, Gates revealed that India was responsible for 70 percent of all polio cases in the world 12 years ago, however, now five years have passed since it last recorded a polio case.