Gates lauds health ministry for controlling polio, HIV

Gates and his wife Melinda called on Azad and discussed matters relating to the immunization programme, pentavalent vaccine, polio vaccination efforts, HIV control and capacity building, senior officials said.

The Microsoft founder appreciated the efforts made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in containing polio and HIV cases and noted that intensification of efforts for eradicating polio were evident from the 2010 figures.

He also offered his Foundation's help in comprehensive family planning services to the Ministry. Azad thanked the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for extending help in bringing about innovations in health, development and learning to the Indian community and urged Gates to continue their support for the fourth phase of the National AIDS Control Programme so that the momentum of the Programme is maintained.

The Gates couple will also go to Bihar and visit community health workers and state officials to see first-hand the launch of a five-year USD 80 million grant made in partnership with the state government and leading Indian and international non-government organisations.

On March 24, Gates will join Azad, Minister of Human Resources and Development Kapil Sibal and Minister of Science and Technology P K Bansal to mark World Tuberculosis Day. Last year, there were two million new TB cases in India.

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