The world stands at the brink of eradicating polio, Bill Gates says, and his foundation yesterday awarded $100 million toward that end. One of the foundation's largest challenge grants will fund programs in four countries where the disease is still epidemic, notably Nigeria. The Rotary Foundation received the grant and will match it over the next 3 years, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Health professionals are split on whether eradicating polio is possible, and some have advocated putting resources toward containing it. But WHO's director-general called the grant "precisely the catalyst we need to finish polio. We have the technical tools to do it." Most of the initial $100 million will be spent on immunization campaigns and community education.