Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Countries / India

What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?

We saw a tremendous amount of progress at the 2014 “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” we held in New Delhi last month. Just 18 months after the first fair, our partners came to New Delhi with early versions of toilets that look like real commercial products. It was amazing to see so many ideas and technologies integrated into devices that can safely collect and processes human waste.

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Five Key Steps to Making the Health Workforce a Post-MDG Priority

The end of the Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching. Let’s make sure our next set of global commitments is sustainable by putting health workers at the center.

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Q&A with Ramesh Ferris: Polio-Free Certification of World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Region

Today the South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) was officially certified polio-free, the fourth of six WHO regions to receive the designation. With this milestone, 80% of the world’s population now lives in certified polio-free regions.

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Polio-Free South-East Asia Region: A Triumph That Transcends All Boundaries

In 2006, I was working for WHO’s National Polio Surveillance Project in India where I was responsible for surveillance and immunization activities to facilitate polio eradication. On my way back to my office one day after examining a child suspected to have polio, I took the above photo as we were driving past the international border between India and Bangladesh. 2006 was the year when Bangladesh reported 18 cases of polio after not having a case since 2000. The outbreak came from across the border in India, which, had nearly 670 cases that year. This image of the setting sun that evening reminded me of the reality of infectious diseases and vulnerabilities of us, the people, and the countries. The sun setting on the Bangladesh sky had its reflection across the man-made barbed wire border, onto the Indian waters. The parallel was too evident to be missed: as long as polio remained on one side of the border, it could cross over and infect children on the other side.

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Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India - Progress, Innovation, Excitement

Researchers from India and around the world were among the more than 700 participants who gathered to discuss how to bring safe sanitation to the 2.5 billion people who lack access. This was the second “toilet fair” hosted by the foundation; the first was in Seattle in 2012. This year’s event was co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology, with the support of the Ministry of Urban Development.

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