Geneva,May,20: Biharís most celebrated Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has praise by Microsoft Boss Bill Gates for an extraordinary performance of rapid vaccination for children in Bihar, with the philanthropist saying that "people are hungry for visionary leaders" who deliver upon their promises that he made to the people.
"Inter-state jealousies" over social feat are contributing to improved focus on health, Gates substantiated during a press conference here.
"I was struck by the chief minister's popularity," he said in his address to the 64th World Health Assembly, which is the governing body of the WHO.
"Nitish Kumar of Bihar and Muhammad Pate who is heading the Nigeria's polio eradication programme have demonstrated that the top leaders can overcome the worst circumstances," said Gates.
He added that "people are hungry for visionary leaders who not only promise a better future, but deliver upon that promise."
He requested the health ministers of the nations to embark upon rapid vaccination programme to reduce child mortality in their respective nation.
"Let us rededicate ourselves to the idea that no district will be below 80 per cent coverage," Gates emphasized at the annual meeting of World Health Assembly to set the priorities for the coming year.
India is having one of the highest child and infant mortality rates in the world.
Despite a robust pharmaceutical research and growing economic prosperity, India is yet to make a significant progress on its disease-burden.
Gates said nations must strive to "make this the decade of vaccines," underscoring the need for donor countries not to turn a deaf ear for making generous contributions towards "vaccines and immunization."
The founder of Microsoft said pharmaceutical companies must produce affordable vaccines for poor countries, while WHO's 193 members must "make vaccines a central focus of your health systems, to ensure that all your children have access to existing vaccines now - and to new ones as they become available".
Gates asked vaccine companies in the world to emulate "the Serum Institute of India, led by Dr Cyrus Poonawalla," for manufacturing the low-cost meningitis vaccine.
He further said that Serum institute has become world's leading producer of the measles vaccines, and the pentavalent vaccine, suggesting that the Indian company is now manufacturing inexpensive "diarrhea and pneumonia vaccines."
The Gates foundation has become the second biggest donor to the WHO after the US.