Log out
My profile and settings
My bookmarks
Comment history
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign in to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
Back to profile
Comment Items
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
Saved Posts
You haven’t bookmarked any posts yet.
“Satya has a lot of interesting things to say about the transformation of both Microsoft and the tech industry at large.”
read more
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Sign up
Personal Information
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Cancel
Save
Address
Cancel
Save
Email and Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Send me Gates Notes survey emails
On
Off
Send me the weekly Top of Mind newsletter
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Interests
Select interests to personalize your profile and experience on Gates Notes.
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Account Deactivation
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process.
If you would like to permanently delete your Gates Notes account and remove it’s content, please send us a request here.
Teaming Up
Our Plan to Eradicate Polio
I'm working with Michael Bloomberg to eradicate polio once and for all.
|
0

The following was published in the Wall Street Journal on February 28, 2013.

More than three decades ago, each of us started a technology company based on a big idea—and each company found success based on a culture of innovation and accountability. In recent years, we've brought that same approach to our philanthropy and have joined forces on two major global projects: reducing tobacco use, which threatens to kill one billion people by the end of this century; and providing women with access to information and services they need to plan their families, leading to safer births and fewer maternal deaths.

Now, we are teaming up to tackle one of the most ambitious public-health goals ever set: eradicating polio, a disease that has haunted humanity at least since ancient Egypt. One of us (we're not saying which one) was born at a time when the U.S. president was battling the effects of polio, and both of us are old enough to remember the great fears that polio epidemics generated among parents and children in the 1950s. While the Salk and Sabin vaccines ended the threat of polio in America and much of the developed world during the 1960s, polio continues to paralyze children in a handful of developing countries.

As recently as 1988 - the year the world adopted eradication as a goal—polio was circulating in more than 125 countries, and more than 350,000 children were paralyzed annually. Since then, thanks to a massive world-wide effort, the number of cases is down by more than 99%. In 2011, India, considered the most difficult place to achieve eradication, was declared polio-free. Last year, we witnessed the steepest drop in new cases in a decade. In 2012, there were fewer than 225 cases and the spread of the virus has to be stopped in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. That is the fewest cases in the fewest countries ever.

However, the last 1% is the most difficult of all. In Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, vaccinators travel long distances across difficult terrain, and some parents won't allow their children to be vaccinated. Security is also a concern, as health workers in Pakistan and Nigeria have recently been targeted by militant groups.

Just two weeks ago, 10 people, including a pregnant woman and nine health workers, were shot dead at two health clinics during a polio immunization campaign in Nigeria. Only two months before, health workers in Pakistan also were killed. We believe that the best way we can honor their lives is to complete their work.

The Gates Foundation has been investing in polio eradication for many years, and Bloomberg Philanthropies is now joining the effort with a $100 million commitment. Together, we are supporting the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's new six-year strategic plan for eradication.

The plan is based on data collected and lessons learned most recently during India's success against polio. The plan also includes innovative tactics and cutting-edge tools, like geographic information-system maps that combine cartography and database technology to help locate children who have not been reached by vaccinators. The plan also provides greater assurance to donors that efforts to end polio will have a broader impact than just protecting children from this preventable and debilitating disease by eradicating it forever.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative takes an approach that differs from past strategies, which featured short-term goals instead of a full plan for finishing the job. This led to year-to-year funding support, often resulting in financial shortfalls that hampered progress and left donors frustrated.

With this new plan, there is finally a clear sense of the key milestones needed to end polio, a complete timeline, and an accounting of how much money it will cost in total, which is an estimated $5.5 billion. Of course, the plan will only be successful if it is fully funded by governments, financial institutions such as the World Bank and Islamic Development Bank, and philanthropic organizations like the ones we run.

In September, the presidents of all three endemic nations committed their full support. And now with the commitment by Bloomberg Philanthropies as of Feb. 28, there is even more reason to be optimistic.

Some might wonder why so much effort and money is being devoted to fight a disease that is contracted by fewer people than can fit on a commercial airplane. The answer is that keeping the number of new cases this low cannot be sustained year after year—polio will make a comeback if it is not eradicated.

To capitalize on the current momentum, fast action is needed. Furthermore, eradication will save billions of dollars over the long term. When success is achieved, the world will have a workable, scalable model for global vaccination—a blueprint for success that can be used time and again to reach children throughout the developing world and prevent disease on an unprecedented scale.

Thinking big is an important part not only of successful businesses, but also of successful societies. It reflects a belief in human ingenuity and the ability to overcome even the toughest problems facing the world.

Michael Bloomberg is the mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg L.P.

Read this next
NEXT
Comments
posting ...
Please verify your email in order to make comments. Click here to resend verification email
Sorry, duplicate comments are not allowed. 
Sorry, that HTML is not allowed. 
Sorry, something went wrong. 
In order to comment you must be a Gates Notes Insider. Please sign up or log in to continue. 
Be the first to leave a comment.
Comment Locked
Comments more than 2 months old are locked. For more information, contact us.
Report
Delete Comment?
Deleting this comment will remove replies to this comment by you and others as well. This action cannot be undone.
Delete Comment
Why do you want to report this comment?
It's annoying or not interesting
It's abusive and/or vulgar
It's spam
Report Comment
Your report has been submitted.
Close
Save
Cancel
Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback. Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
SIGN UP
Already joined?
Log in
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined? Log in
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Use your social account:
Or sign up with email:
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
Sign up
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. Please continue to the log in page.
Log in
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
This email is already registered
Finish
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
You're in!
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
Upload a profile picture
Choose image to upload
Uploading...
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Email and notification settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Select your interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Finish
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent