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Bill Gates: 'We can eradicate polio'

Bill Gates: 'We can eradicate polio'

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has made great strides forward in his battle to defeat polio with his unbreakable belief in the power of the vaccine, he revealed today.

Last year there were just 205 cases of naturally occurring polio compared with 650 cases in 2011. One of his greatest achievements to date is India, which has been polio free for two years. He and his wife, Melinda are now focusing on getting the vaccine to Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan where transmission of the virus has never been stopped.

They are doing their fabulous work through the Gates Foundation – already having given away nearly $30 billion of their fortune and we’re pretty sure they won’t stop there.

This week Gates will deliver the annual BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture. In this he is expected to compare the pace of innovation in computers with the fight against polio: ‘In the late 1970s we had a dream of giving everybody access to computer technology - a vision of a computer on every desktop. Now there is a computer in every pocket.

The pace of innovation keeps getting faster. The same is true of polio. It was first recognised at least 4,000 years ago, but it was just 200 years ago we figured out it's contagious - just 100 years ago we learned it's a virus. Just 50 years ago we developed the vaccine to prevent it. Just 25 years ago we resolved to eradicate it. And so on.

It’s nice to see such a giant from the world of technology using his money and power for the good. But you don’t have to have tonnes of dollar to make a difference; just recycling your old handset is a small step. Not only is it good for the environment, but it will also earn you a nice bit of cash. Just search and sell with OnRecycle. And don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook too!