Attack on polio workers in Pak would not deter us: Bill Gates

Last Updated: Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 20:43

London: Counted among the world`s wealthiest people, Microsoft founder Bill Gates who is busy making sure he doesn`t leave a bulk of his super wealth for his children, says money has no utility to him beyond a certain point.
Rather, the philanthropist wants his money to reach some the poorest people on the planet and to be spent on missions like eradicating polio.

"I`m certainly well taken care of in terms of food and clothes... Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organisation and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world," Gates told the Telegraph.

The paper said with an estimated wealth of USD 65 billion, Gates equals the annual GDP of Ecuador, and he says 95 per cent of it goes to the foundation established by him and his wife Melinda, to spend it "within 20 years after neither of us are around anymore".

A major focus of his foundation`s efforts is eradicating polio, the crippling disease that remains endemic in three countries -- Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

After years of dedicated efforts, India observed its first polio free year last year.

In that quest to eradicate the disease, his foundation is facing obstacles from radicals in what was clearly manifested in Pakistan where health workers were killed for their involvement in the programme.

"It`s not going to stop us succeeding," says Gates.

"It does force us to sit down with the Pakistan government to renew their commitments, see what they`re going to do in security and make changes to protect the women who are doing God`s work and getting out to these children and delivering the vaccine," he said.

Gates said his foundation on polio is special to him as once eradicated, the world will be free of the disease and will no longer need to spend money on it.

"It`s just there as a gift for the rest of time," he said on his foundation`s efforts.

The paper said Bill and Melinda have so far given away USD 28 billion via their charitable foundation, more than USD 8 billion of it to improve global health.

"Both of us (he and his wife) worked at Microsoft and saw that if you take innovation and smart people, the ability to measure what`s working, that you can pull together some pretty dramatic things.

"We`re focused on the help of the poorest in the world, which really drives you into vaccination. You can actually take a disease and get rid of it altogether, like we are doing with polio," he said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 20:43

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