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Bill and Melinda Gates to pay off Nigeria’s $76 million polio debt

Nigeria, which accounted for more than half of all polio cases in 2012, reported zero new cases of the infectious disease in 2017. 

UNICEF health consultant Hadiza Waya (R) tries to immunize a child during a vaccination campaign against polio in northwest Nigeria. (Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images)

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Bill Gates: We May Witness the Last Human Case of Polio This Year

But if the campaign isn’t successful, this scourge could return with a vengeance.

Bill Gates. Credit: Getty Images.

Polio (poliomyelitis) has plagued humankind throughout history. Ancient Egyptian records speak of its ravages as far back as 1403 BCE. Outbreaks struck many societies, leaving victims disabled or worse. One particularly bad epidemic in the US in 1916 took 6,000 lives. As the last century progressed, outbreaks burst onto the scene periodically.

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