Bill Gates wants to rid the world of polio within six years

Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates has worked full time for his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for several years now. Gates, the world second wealthiest man with a net worth of $63.4 billion, has pledged to give 95 percent of his wealth to the foundation to help fund its two main efforts; fighting diseases in third world countries and also to improve education in the US.

In Gates' annual letter from the foundation that was published today, he writes about how his organization has been working on these issues in the past year. The biggest effort that the foundation currently has is to rid the world of the polio disease. Gates writes, "Polio eradication is a top priority for the foundation, a primary focus for me, and a powerful example of the importance of accurate measurement."

Gates notes that while the number of recorded polio cases has been below 1,000 for the past two years, it's doing away with those final cases that's been the hardest part of the fight. The only three countries that have yet to eliminate polio are Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. All three countries have many security issues that have hampered the efforts of workers who are trying to vaccinate the population. Gates noted that in December nine people who were administering the vaccine were murdered in Pakistan. He said:

It is unimaginable to me why health workers, whose only goal was to improve children's health and end polio, were targeted. In my eyes the victims are heroes, and the best way to respect their memory is to finish the job they gave their lives for.

Despite these issues, Gates and his foundation are working with others on a plan that he believes "... should allow us to finish the job of polio eradication within the next six years."

Source: Bill Gates' annual letter | Image via Microsoft

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I respect him for his determination and willingness to continue and not to quit. I also like that he pursued his dream for technology and his dream of ridding the world of diseases. It shows the world another side to Bill, and a great one

Say what you will about his past, very few people in his position do anything like this, beyond what is needed for public recognition or tax shelters

The remaining numbers of cases of polio is incredibly small - around 300 in Pakistan last year, that's it. That's down from around 800 years previously, and from being prevelant in India too. One last push should get it, learning from experiences about transient populations in India. For those of you that are doubting why we should do this, a huge amount of money goes into Polio vaccinations - I'm pretty sure you'll all have had one. However, I bet you've not had one for smallpox. When smallpox was eradicated it was claimed as being one of Humanity's biggest achievements. Why? Because the efforts that go into prevention and tackling the disease can be repurposed to something else - no more vaccinations, no more aid/treatment; instead we can move onto other world problems, like HIV/Aids, or sustaining a rapidly growing population within earth's natural limits. I'm praying that in 6 year's time no-one will ever suffer the effects of Polio again.

"It is unimaginable to me why health workers, whose only goal was to improve children's health..."
This only shows that Gates has no idea of the complexity of the world's problems. Polio is the least of them.
We need less poor miserable children being born... They won't suffer polio or other illness if they don't ever exist where they shouldn't, in places with no basic conditions for human life.
You just don't go out solving problems... you gotta solve the right problems to begin with.

Luis Mazza said,
"It is unimaginable to me why health workers, whose only goal was to improve children's health..."
This only shows that Gates has no idea of the complexity of the world's problems. Polio is the least of them.
We need less poor miserable children being born... They won't suffer polio or other illness if they don't ever exist where they shouldn't, in places with no basic conditions for human life.
You just don't go out solving problems... you gotta solve the right problems to begin with.

Shows that you have no idea the goals of his foundation are and the work that they do. Just because Polio is their #1 priority at the moment doesn't mean its the only priority. It just shows you have no idea of what you are talking about, not of Bill Gates and not of his foundation. Polio, malaria, poverty, education, energy, self-sufficiency, sex education, planned parenthood etc... They know what needs to be done. The more educated a population is, the wealthier a population is the lower their birth rate. They are dealing with that as well as enabling them with options like contraceptives and sex-education. They are teaching people in certain areas on how to farm and self sustain. They have a great deal invested in researching renewable energies and public education all over the world. The work they do goes on and on. Where do you think all the foundations' billions of dollars goes towards? Nothing? Just polio? Seriously... you really think him and his foundation are stupid huh?

Edited by linsook, Jan 30 2013, 10:42pm :

Jaxkesa said,

So how do you suggest the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enforce that? Wiping a disease off the face of the planet is much more realistic and better for humankind.

It's thanks to the efforts of programs like this that most of us don't have to suffer with the effects of polio, only the 'poor miserable children' will.

You can be a great guy trying to solve a political problem, giving people the tools needed in the long run and buying the right people to make a great difference in the long run... Or you can be a mediocre, but famous, thinker/helper that is just raining in the water. But the last option works better for show-offers... No doubt about that.

linsook said,

Shows that you have no idea the goals of his foundation are and the work that they do. Just because Polio is their #1 priority at the moment doesn't mean its the only priority. It just shows you have no idea of what you are talking about, not of Bill Gates and not of his foundation. Polio, malaria, poverty, education, energy, self-sufficiency, sex education, planned parenthood etc... They know what needs to be done. The more educated a population is, the wealthier a population is the lower their birth rate. They are dealing with that as well as enabling them with options like contraceptives and sex-education. They are teaching people in certain areas on how to farm and self sustain. They have a great deal invested in researching renewable energies and public education all over the world. The work they do goes on and on. Where do you think all the foundations' billions of dollars goes towards? Nothing? Just polio? Seriously... you really think him and his foundation are stupid huh?

My reply above works for you too.

linsook said,

No it doesn't. Get educated on what they do.

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/programs/Pages/overview.aspx

I know this website.
Sorry, too much content on my side to explain it all to you. Call me a prick or whatever...
Still looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Let Bill kill time and go to heaven. I have no money to buy my place in heaven.
But just for the record... He is indirectly responsible for the killings of those health workers. Calling them 'heroes' is his part on trying to deny his guilt. Fail.

Luis Mazza said,

I know this website.
Sorry, too much content on my side to explain it all to you. Call me a prick or whatever...
Still looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Let Bill kill time and go to heaven. I have no money to buy my place in heaven.
But just for the record... He is indirectly responsible for the killings of those health workers. Calling them 'heroes' is his part on trying to deny his guilt. Fail.

It's great you know the website, but its obvious you haven't looked it over, if you did you would know they dealt with over population. Fail. Ya, It's all BIll's fault. You have no credibility in anything you say on this subject.

linsook said,

It's great you know the website, but its obvious you haven't looked it over, if you did you would know they dealt with over population. Fail. Ya, It's all BIll's fault. You have no credibility in anything you say on this subject.

Yes.

Luis Mazza said,

Sorry, too much content on my side to explain it all to you. Call me a prick or whatever...
Still looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Let Bill kill time and go to heaven. I have no money to buy my place in heaven.
But just for the record... He is indirectly responsible for the killings of those health workers. Calling them 'heroes' is his part on trying to deny his guilt. Fail.

Prick .... well you said to....

Christ someone always has to look on the negative and find an excuse to complain

Ending polio is a very near (and awsome) objective that they can do it, so why not? It's a gigantic historic step for all of the humans, for our planet.

IMHO, it's just not right to leave this kind of diseases in the world (extinct only where people got money). Influenza once killed nearly 3% of the world's population (do you remember the 2009 panic?). The plague once killed 1/3 of Europe population. Oh, and it's a well know fact that Malaria killed HALF of all the humans that had lived in our planet. HALF man, not half of the current people... Half of ALL the people.

And all of this viruses/bacteries/diseases are in our planet, just dancing around...

Luis Mazza said,
"It is unimaginable to me why health workers, whose only goal was to improve children's health..."
This only shows that Gates has no idea of the complexity of the world's problems. Polio is the least of them.
We need less poor miserable children being born... They won't suffer polio or other illness if they don't ever exist where they shouldn't, in places with no basic conditions for human life.
You just don't go out solving problems... you gotta solve the right problems to begin with.

It's clear you don't know a whole a lot about what Bill Gates knows. He has tackled the very criticism you have tried to express here.

Polio might not be the biggest problem, but that doesn't mean it isn't a insignificant one. Trying to solve the worlds poverty & education problems is made significantly more difficult by viruses like polio.

By eradicating polio, just within a region you re-leave stress on families, health care & the society as a whole. This significantly increases the quality of life for the average person in that region.

Eradicating Polio is not a cure all, but it is a monumental step.

Luis Mazza said,
"It is unimaginable to me why health workers, whose only goal was to improve children's health..."
This only shows that Gates has no idea of the complexity of the world's problems. Polio is the least of them.

You could say that about any humanitarian effort, that they could tackle bigger problems, but doing something even though not about more important issues is still infinitely better than doing nothing. People have the right to choose which battles to fight for, the ones they're familiar with or the ones they think they can be the most helpful on, if they hadn't then I think it would be safe to state that nobody would do anything.

Luis Mazza said,

My reply above works for you too.

As a guy whose run children's charities before (although not on the same level as Bill Gates), i find your replies wholly inaccurate and plain rude. It's clear to myself and others that you either need to do some learning on the matter or crawl back under your stone. Seems pretty plain to me you'd rather rubbish the work of Bill Gates than actually learn any accurate information.

Like he said in the Richard Dimbleby Lecture a couple of days ago, eradicating diseases and reducing the death rate for children means that families would no longer need to produce as many children in the hope that at least one of them can survive, which in turn, can lead to slow down the birthrate.

Sure. Bill Gates is going to save the world. He knows what he is doing. He's super and all your theories are correct.
We all know this is working. Yes, we do.

Lol

Luis Mazza said,

I know this website.
Sorry, too much content on my side to explain it all to you. Call me a prick or whatever...
Still looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Let Bill kill time and go to heaven. I have no money to buy my place in heaven.
But just for the record... He is indirectly responsible for the killings of those health workers. Calling them 'heroes' is his part on trying to deny his guilt. Fail.


haters be hating.
Seriously bro, you haven't done even 1/100th of the goodness Bill Gates has brought to this world in his lifetime.
He is a rare person, one of a kind. I truly wonder what you have done with your life mate for being such a d*ck towards Bill. But please elaborate.

Did you create an OS that has ruled the world for over 2 decades? Have you pushed forward computing from mainframes to the tiny tablet/smartphone you have today? (do know none of the current tablets/computers/laptops/smartphones would be available if it wasn't for Bill Gates).
Also the Internet as we know it today, is what it is thanks to Bill Gates. (keep in mind, Internet Explorer is the FIRST graphical browser. As before the 'www' was only text and very similar to newsgroups).
Have you helped in thousands upon thousands of students to be able to finish their well deserved education?
Have you helped thousands upon thousands of people in Africa to be cured from their Malaria?


I could write more, but the list goes on.
But in short:
The modern technological world would not be possible without our friend Bill Gates.
He singlehandedly has saved more lives then you have met people (throughout your entire life).

He deserves the most respect of any person alive today. Even if you hate Windows or Microsoft, Bill Gates should be respected even if its only for the countless of lives he has saved and you haven't.)

But keep hating.. I suggest you downgrade to a plain GUI or terminal only, no graphical internet for you. Do not buy a graphics card build in the last 5 years. And no cure for any disease Bill Gates has worked on... How would that suit you? Using nothing Bill Gates has (helped) develop.

You'd be living under a stone.

Oh and you call me a fanboy or whatever you like. You are a giant turd for speaking with such disrespect towards a man WHO SAVES MILLIONS OF LIVES.

Edited by ShadowMajestic, Jan 31 2013, 1:31pm :

Izlude said,
In other words.. Eugenics? He's already doing that. Check out the Bill Gates co2 equation.

Exactly. But the bunch of ignorant-ranting 'good guys' around here just keep vomiting fast food comments.
Thanks for the info.

+1 What an amazing guy he is indeed. I watched a documentary in the UK on Tuesday The Richard Dimbleby Lectures on BBC. You can catch up with BBC iPlayer. He deserves an award for his humanitarian work.

MC GEEK said,
+1 What an amazing guy he is indeed. I watched a documentary in the UK on Tuesday The Richard Dimbleby Lectures on BBC. You can catch up with BBC iPlayer. He deserves an award for his humanitarian work.


He is one that truly deserves an award or even a Noble price in my opinion. Gates has changed the world in a way only few have throughout the whole course of human history.

But no, lets give Obama the Noble Peace price.... (imho that price made the whole Noble Peace Price worthless due to Obama being in war, ordering tactical movements in foreign countries his country isn't even in war with....)

What happened to those health workers in Pakistan was sad and unfortunate. I'm glad Bill Gates is still committed to eradicating polio.

They gave $3.964 billion (including grants) in 2011. I imagine the amount is even higher for 2012. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is amazing.

Great Guy, trying to make the world a better place, instead..should use the money to fight corruptions in the US, gangs and mafias and druglords creates alot of troubled grounds and corruptions in police force and governments, people pay tax to invest in their nation to become better safer and healthy, not for the politicians to play the money on other countries and gangsters and what not...

I don't think the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation uses tax money. But even if they did, it would most likely be a small fraction of what they use to help people. Also, they don't just help countries outside of the US. Why would they do that when the US has issues too?

This is from their fact sheet:
"In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people

The US is one of the biggest Banana republics in the world. As long as the people have no real choice as far as their government goes. It's basically a YES and NO which kind of provides a stalemate on anything so nothing gets done. The fact that people outside government can have so much influence on what happens by simply spending or not spending millions and/or providing kickbacks the whole system gets stuck.

I am pretty sure Bill Gates want to stay as far away from that hornets nest as he can.

Darrah Ford said,
He should start by ridding the world of Metro within 6 weeks

Wow... you need to leave the internet.

wrack said,
I don't think he is rich enough to get rid of those things!

You'd be surprised. Money isn't everything. If you look at the amount of lives he saved in the past few years, he's doing amazing work with his priorities in the right place.