Bill Gates to Pay Nigeria’s $76 Million Polio Debt
Nigeria had been due to begin repayments this year, but a spokesman for the couple confirmed their act of generosity in an email to qz.com. The billionaire Microsoft tycoon and his wife of their ‘deep concern’ in 2012 after Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide.
Their extraordinary generosity will repay the loan taken out by the Nigeria from Japan in 2014, to enable her eliminate the disease.
Polio is a crippling, contagious infection which can invade sufferers’ brains and spinal cords, and cause paralysis. There is no cure, but vaccines can prevent healthy people from contracting it.
Thanks to the loan, Nigeria is now almost polio free and did not record new cases in 2017, although experts warned the country had suffered false dawns before.