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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Bill Gates to visit Abu Dhabi in support of the final battle against deadly diseases like polio and malaria

World's richest man will join Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for the Reaching the Last Mile conference next month

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, September 20, 2017. Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, September 20, 2017. Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Bill Gates is to attended a major gathering of international health experts in Abu Dhabi next month aimed at stamping out some of the world's most destructive infectious diseases.

The Microsoft founder has devoted much of his fortune to research and support for efforts to eliminate polio and malaria though his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He will travel to the UAE in November for Reaching the Last Mile, a conference hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The conference, which will gather experts from around the world to find solutions for wiping out diseases that have killed millions, will also honour health workers in affected countries with the Recognising Excellence Around Champions of Health (Reach) Awards.

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Read more:

How a meeting with Sheikh Zayed was the first step down the long road to eliminating some of the world's worst diseases

UAE pushes for political commitment to eradicate preventable infectious diseases

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Sheikh Mohammed recently donated US$5 million (Dh18.4m) to combat malaria, while the UAE has also been in the forefront of the fight against polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan, two of the three remaining affected countries.

Experts believe that polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, could disappear forever within a few years if present trends continue. The number of cases of malaria, which kills tens of thousands of children in Africa, has also dropped substantially in the last 20 years, with the aim of a 90 per cent reduction by 2030.