Hats Off to Bill Gates: A Polio-Free India is £137 Million Well Spent

By Gerald Lynch on at

India is now officially polio free according to the country's health officials, and that's in no small part due to the philanthropic work of Bill Gates. He and his wife's charity donated $225 million (£137,340,000) to the cause, with the disease's eradication now the ex-Microsoft man's proudest achievement.

"As of today, India has gone three years without a single case of wild poliovirus, which means it’s now officially 'polio-free'," Gates wrote on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website.  "India’s achievement is one of the most impressive accomplishments in global health, ever. India’s victory galvanised the global health community to commit to achieving a polio-free world by 2018. Now, we only have 3 more countries to go, down from 125 in 1988."

Gates's dollars were donated to Rotary International and put to good use by the World Health Organisation, the CDC and UNICEF, with the Indian government employing some 2 million people to venture into the most inaccessible areas of the country to deliver vaccinations.

Good on you, Bill and Melinda. You're now forgiven for Windows Vista. [The Register]