Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bill Gates meets Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan met with the second richest man in the world, Mr. Bill Gates and promised that his administration would eradicate polio in Nigeria.

Mr. Gates is the Co-Chairperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is committed to the global eradication of the polio virus. President Jonathan said he welcomed the drop in polio cases in Nigeria from 256 in 2009 to just three in 2010.

Noting that the very significant drop was due to the joint efforts of the three tiers of government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other stakeholders, President Jonathan said that his administration would do everything to ensure that the goal of eradicating polio from Nigeria and the West African Sub-Region was achieved.

The President said that to prevent the polio virus from re-entering Nigeria from neighbouring countries, his administration would assist such countries with polio immunization programmes.

"We should be able to go beyond our borders if it becomes necessary to ensure that polio is eradicated altogether," he said. President Jonathan, then directed the Minister of Health, Prof. Christian Chukwu, to consult his counterparts in neighbouring countries on the subject.

He thanked Mr. Gates and his wife, Melinda, for their enormous contributions to the improvements in healthcare delivery and agriculture in developing nations.

Saying that Nigeria will also appreciate help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to combat malaria, President Jonathan welcomed the news from Mr. Gates that his Foundation was working to develop an effective malaria vaccine by 2015.

Mr. Gates told the President that since his last visit to the country in February last year, Nigeria has had a greater reduction in polio cases than any other country.


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Good luck, Jonathan

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