Bill Gates calls for sustained, collaborative efforts to eradicate polio

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By SundiataPOST, Abuja

 Founder Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates on Tuesday, called for sustained collaborative efforts stakeholders to eradicate wild polio virus from .

Gates made call when he led other members his foundation on a courtesy call on Governor Babatunde Fashola State at Government in Ikeja.

He said laxity in the efforts at wiping out the scourge would be counter-productive as the presence the virus in any part the country posed a threat to the entire nation.

Gates said had made some progress, but pointed out  the country   at great risk with the poor vaccination coverage in some parts of the country.

 President of , Alhaji Aliko Dangote, among those who accompanied Gates on the visit.

“ Yes, so much progress has been made against polio but there is much to be done.

“In Asia, it is only in Pakistan and Afghanistan where we are yet to zero prevalence, and in Africa, , primarily in the .

“Vaccination could not get to almost half of the children in the East due to the unrest there and is dangerous.

`So, we are saying, everybody, rulers, community , governments, individuals and all other stakeholders need to collaborate to effectively fight the menace,’’ Gates said.

The philanthropist said that his foundation spending about six dollars on the eradication of the scourge in Nigeria and other high risk countries.

Gates praised the efforts of the state government in eradicating polio and other diseases, saying his foundation would collaborate with the state to enhance healthcare delivery.

Fashola thanked Gates for his anti-polio initiative in the country, saying his efforts had considerably helped to  its prevalence.

The governor said that it was regrettable that Nigeria was among the countries with high polio prevalence.

He blamed the situation on factors such as ignorance, religion, cultural beliefs, among others.