Tags: bill gates | nigeria | polio vaccination | debt

Bill Gates: Nigeria's $76M Polio Vaccination Debt Being Paid

Bill Gates: Nigeria's $76M Polio Vaccination Debt Being Paid

(Oleksii Liskonih/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 19 January 2018 01:20 PM

Bill Gates said he will pay off $76 million of Nigeria's debt that accumulated after the country borrowed the money from Japan in 2014 to aid its fight against polio, CNBC reported.

The billionaire philanthropists and his wife, Melinda Gates, committed to making the payments over the course of 20 years though the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A spokesperson for the foundation confirmed this to Quartz, noting that the agreement was reached after Nigeria was able to provide over 80 percent vaccination coverage in at least one round each year in areas that were deemed high-risk areas.

The loan was provided by the Japanese government as part of overseas development assistance and was used to assist Nigeria in its efforts to increase polio eradication, the Independent reported.

Six years ago, Nigeria accounted for almost half of all polio cases, but last year the country had no reported cases.

The statistics are promising, but Paulin Basinga, the country director of Nigeria for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told The Independent there was an “ongoing risk” because the polio virus had not been completely eradicated.

Nigeria has experienced setbacks, with its most recent occurring in 2016, when two cases of polio were discovered, shattering the country’s efforts to achieve a second consecutive year in which no cases were reported, Quartz said.

However, Bill Gates has commended the country’s massive strides, noting that the “heroes who have made this progress possible are the millions of vaccinators who have gone door to door to immunize more than 2.5 billion children,” according to CNBC.

Polio eradication is deemed a top priority for the Gates Foundation, which spent $3 billion last year to stop the spread of the disease, CNBC reported.

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Bill Gates said he will pay off $76 million of Nigeria's debt that accumulated after the country borrowed the money from Japan in 2014 to aid its fight against polio.
bill gates, nigeria, polio vaccination, debt
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2018-20-19
Friday, 19 January 2018 01:20 PM
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