Bill Gates impressed by progress of health services in IndiaJuly 25th, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) While reiterating that basic health services remain a huge challenge in India, Microsoft founder Bill Gates Saturday said the country’s dramatic progress in health schemes and initiatives makes him optimistic.
“More than 10 years into our work, we’re more optimistic than ever. The phenomenal progress we’ve seen in India is one of the main reasons for our optimism,” Gates said after receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development from President Pratibha Patil here.
Gates received the prize on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which launched Avahan in India in 2003 to fight the spread of AIDS in six high risk states.
Gates, however, said that India faces some of the “toughest health problems in the world”.
“It bears a massive burden of diseases. But in the next five years, India can make more progress on health than it has made in any other five year period in its history,” he said.
“You have the ability to save millions of lives and set a great example for the rest of the world. And the Gates Foundation will do what we can to help you take advantage of this historic opportunity. India has two advantages that together can trigger major breakthroughs in health: First, you have the proven ability to innovate, second, you have a keen appreciation for the urgency of the situation,” Gates, one of world’s richest man, said.
Praising India’s polio immunization drive, Gates, said: “Your polio campaign is exceptional. Vaccinators visit more than 200 million homes, one by one. 200 million!! To make sure they don’t miss anybody, they also go to train stations, bus stations, and ferry terminals to immunize children who are on the move. You should be very proud of that level of commitment.”
India is one of the few countries that still reports polio cases.
“If you keep up the commitment you have shown for the last five years, the list of things you can accomplish by 2015 is simply astounding,” he added.
“The National Rural Health Mission is already spurring innovation at the local level and generating impressive results. The proposed National Urban Health Mission could do the same. So the best way Melinda (wife) and I can thank you for the honour of this prize is to promise to be the best partners we can be as India continues in this critical endeavour.”
- Bill Gates lauds India's polio eradication drive - Jan 10, 2012
- Gates praises India for containing polio - May 31, 2012
- Bill Gates to visit India this week - Mar 21, 2011
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to focus on drugs, vaccine research - Mar 24, 2011
- A year of no polio: India triumphs, but risks remains - Jan 11, 2012
- Bill, Melinda Gates meet Health Minister Azad, discuss issues relating to polio vaccination - Mar 22, 2011
- A year of no polio: India triumphs, but risks remains (Lead) - Jan 11, 2012
- Indian firm gets Gates Foundation grant for `eToilet' - Aug 16, 2012
- Bill Gates to meet Akhilesh - May 29, 2012
- Football fans, clubs to rally against polio in India - Jul 29, 2011
- Azad meets Bill, Melinda Gates - Mar 22, 2011
- HIV project saved 100,000 in India from infection: Study - Oct 11, 2011
- India's winning plan to fight AIDS holds hope for Africa (Lead) - Jul 30, 2012
- Gates Foundation calls for investments for vaccines - May 17, 2011
- Ramesh for low-cost sanitation solutions - May 30, 2012
Tags: basic health services, bill and melinda gates, bill and melinda gates foundation, bill gates, bus stations, dramatic progress, ferry terminals, founder bill gates, health schemes, indira gandhi, keen appreciation, melinda gates foundation, microsoft founder, next five years, opportunity india, phenomenal progress, polio campaign, polio cases, polio immunization, president pratibha patil