bill and m.jpgMulti-billionaire Bill Gates has said that despite the global credit crunch, developed nations and global donors should be able to provide the $2.6 billion in aid needed to combat polio through 2012.

Speaking to reporters during his recent visit in Nigeria Mr Gates said that his foundation is going to the rich world donors, at a time when their budgets are tight and will do everything possible to give aid to the countries fighting polio.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been active in fighting child and infectious diseases in poor countries, will commit more than $150 million of its $34 billion fund this year to mass polio immunisation and surveillance programmes.

The number of worldwide cases has declined this year, most significantly in Nigeria which has recorded its lowest level of infections ever with only 3 so far in 2010. That is down from a total of 288 cases last year.

Polio, which spreads in areas with poor sanitation, attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours of infection.

 

Children under the age of 4 are the most vulnerable to the disease, that until the 1950s crippled thousands of people every year in rich nations.