Gates Foundation and Partners Mark 2011 World Polio Day

By Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, PRNE
Friday, October 21, 2011

SEATTLE, October 22, 2011 -

On this year’s World Polio Day (October 24, 2011), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a global community of partners are calling for increased commitment and greater accountability from political leaders to end polio, and for supporters around the world to lend their voices to the fight.

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“We have an extraordinary opportunity to eradicate polio but we need greater global commitment, leadership, and funding,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “We work with exceptional partners like Rotary, FC Barcelona and the Global Poverty Project to help keep polio a priority.”

Two decades ago, polio killed or paralyzed 350,000 children a year worldwide. Since then, lifesaving vaccines have dramatically reduced the spread of polio. They are one of the best long-term investments to prevent disease and give children a healthy start to life.

Today, the world is 99 percent of the way there.  But recent outbreaks in places like China and Chad, as well as persistent challenges in Nigeria and Pakistan, remind us that if there is polio anywhere, there is a risk of polio everywhere.

Note to Editors:

Activities will take place around the world in recognition of World Polio Day and the importance of polio eradication.

High-resolution still photography and footage will be available here:

Follow these links to find out more about how the foundation and partners are calling attention to polio:

    22 October     FC Barcelona will run a series of activities during their
    Barcelona,     match against Sevilla. FCB players will wear "End Polio"
    Spain          jerseys in honor of World Polio Day.

    24 October     Gates Foundation and local partners will conduct numerous
    Tokyo,         polio-related activities surrounding the Asia-Pacific
    Japan          dialogue for health strategy alignment including the
                   illumination of the Tokyo Tower.

    Photos of the event to be posted here:

    24 October     Bill Gates and representatives from Rotary International
    Washington,    will gather to encourage US leaders to continue their
    D.C.           support for polio eradication efforts.

    24 October     Gates Foundation encourages supporters around the world
    Seattle,       to join the fight against polio.

    28-30          The End of Polio concert headlined by John Legend
    October        in Perth, Australia will be the first of many polio-related
    Perth,         activities on the agenda in the lead up to the 2011
    Australia      Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

+1-206-709-3400, media at

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