Health & Relationships

Bill Gates, Dangote visit polio Centre in Abuja

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Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Aliko Dangote on Thursday visited the Emergency Operations Centre for polio in Abuja.

Both billionaires have played a significant role in the fight to eliminate polio in Nigeria.

Gates, whose foundation has invested more than $1.6billion in Nigeria to date, is in the country to see first-hand the progress the country is making on primary healthcare provision, polio eradication, nutrition and financial inclusion.

They are expected to meet with government officials, and civil society and private sector stakeholders in Abuja and Lagos for talks to “finish the job of polio eradication” and keep the virus away from Nigeria’s children.

The EOC is central to coordinating long-running campaign to eradication polio from Nigeria—and has been active since polio emerged in 2016 in areas of Borno military forces reclaimed from Boko Haram terrorists.

Both billionaires held talks with the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib.

The 2016 discovery of polio virus among children born in communities under Boko Haram control and unvaccinated their entire life set back Nigeria’s progress to be polio free.

The federal government released N9.8 billion in funding to ensure the outbreak was contained.

“All of that funding, all of the work that went into containing that outbreak will go to naught unless we are able to finish the job in Borno,” said Shuaib.

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Tony is an English and Literary Studies graduate from the University of Lagos. His hobbies include reading, football, swimming and writing. Tony is a lifelong fan of Manchester United and could read Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham’s novels the whole day without even taking a meal. Reach him at 08167677075 and 08185801508.

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