NEW DELHI: Bill Gates, who left his full-time executive role at Microsoft
earlier this year to focus on his philanthropic organization, the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, said on Wednesday (November 5) that he hopes that
the U.S. president-elect Barack Obama will be able to deliver on his
campaign's healthcare pledges.
Gates, who is on a visit to New Delhi, was optimistic about Obama's
efforts to tackle global health issues, saying he has “shown a lot of
interest” and would “drive improvements in those areas”.
Denying resource crunch due to the financial turbulence and its fallout
on the global economy, Gates said that there might be some economic
contraction before the United States gets back to growth but he hoped the
generosity of the United States government in participating in health issues
“Both candidates made very strong commitments to increase the
spending the U.S government puts into health issues. For example, the funding
of the global fund or the funding of activities including what the U. S does
relating to polio. So I am hopeful that even with a very challenging budget in
the United States the commitment to increase these things that Barack Obama,
it soon comes out the way it is predicted, will be able to deliver on those
priorities. He has shown a lot of interest in these issues and hopefully the
U. S will be an even stronger partner for India and other countries in
providing resources,” Gates told a news conference.
Gates is on a visit to India on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, the world's largest charity, funded in part by his vast fortune.
The Foundation tackles health issues, focusing on polio eradication and
Meeting with Indian health officials and polio experts, Gates said he
was confident polio can be successfully eradicated with India leading the
Gates called for increased government spending on health and urged
Indian health officials to consider using innovative approaches such as
injection vaccines to tackle the crippling disease.
A world effort to beat polio has succeeded in slashing the number of
cases by 99 percent over the past two decades, but the disease is still
endemic in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $17
billion in grants since it began in 1994, and has given hundreds of millions
of dollars in a global campaign to eradicate polio.