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Read What Bill Gate Have To Say On Boko Haram Insurgence



United States philanthropist, Bill Gates, has described the violence in northern Nigeria perpetuated by Islamist sect Boko Haram, as the major challenge for eradicating polio in the country.
According to Gates, Nigeria could cut the number of polio cases to zero in 2015 and be declared free of the disease by 2018.
The former richest man in the world told Reuters that the national eradication campaign has however had to contend with an insurgency in the north of the country.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports the global initiative to wipe out polio, which includes a campaign in Nigeria, one of three nations where the crippling virus is still endemic. The others are Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“We have got all the challenges up in northern Nigeria, the violence from Boko Haram, and the distraction of an upcoming election,” Gates said in a telephone interview, referring to an Islamist rebel group that has in the past targeted vaccination workers, and to Nigeria’s national vote next year,” Gates said in a telephone conversation with Reuters.
“Despite all that, we’ve got by far the lowest numbers of cases ever,” he said. “We hope by the end of next year we’d be at zero.”
“If there were no more cases for three years after that, Nigeria could be certified clear in 2018,” he added.
The technology billionaire-turned-global philanthropist, while speaking mainly on health and agriculture last week before a speech on Thursday, 24 July, 2014, at Addis Ababa University on development in Africa, said: “We’ve got a pretty optimistic view of what can happen in Africa in those two areas,” he said before his trip to Ethiopia, a nation stricken by famine 30 years ago but which has doubled farm output in the last eight years.
In health work, one of his most high-profile programs is the fight against malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that infects more than 200 million people a year and kills more than 600,000 people. Nine out of 10 deaths are in Africa.
The campaign includes promoting bed nets, protecting homes with insecticide sprays and using the artemisinin drug in treatment to bring down fatalities, he said.
Nigeria remains the only polio-endemic country in Africa. By the end of 2013, the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria was 122, of which 19 were type 3, well in excess of the 62 total cases reported in 2011.
90% of these cases were reported from eight persistently endemic northern states of Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
The situation in northern Nigeria is complicated by ongoing security concerns, which are likely to hamper the polio eradication effort in this area

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