On this year’s World Polio Day, Oct. 24, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a global community of partners are calling for increased commitment and greater accountability from political leaders to end polio, and for supporters around the world to lend their voices to the fight.
“We have an extraordinary opportunity to eradicate polio but we need greater global commitment, leadership, and funding,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “We work with exceptional partners like Rotary, FC Barcelona and the Global Poverty Project to help keep polio a priority.”
Two decades ago, polio killed or paralyzed 350,000 children a year worldwide. Since then, lifesaving vaccines have dramatically reduced the spread of polio. They are one of the best long-term investments to prevent disease and give children a healthy start to life, suggests Gates Foundation.
Today, the world is 99 percent of the way there. But recent outbreaks in places like China and Chad, as well as persistent challenges in Nigeria and Pakistan, remind us that if there is polio anywhere, there is a risk of polio everywhere.
Activities will take place around the world in recognition of World Polio Day and the importance of polio eradication.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.