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Bill Gates makes hush-hush visits to Andhra firms

IANS
May 31, 2013 at 06:16pm IST

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Hyderabad: Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates visited Biological E Ltd, a leading vaccine manufacturer, and the International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) near Hyderabad on Thursday on a private trip kept completely under wraps.

Bill Gates, who is also co-chairperson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited Biological E Ltd late Thursday evening, the company said in a statement on Friday.

"Mr Bill Gates congratulated Biological E on the science and innovation platform of the company that allows it to supply effective and affordable vaccines," the statement said.

Bill Gates makes hush-hush visits to Andhra firms

Bill Gates, who is also co-chairperson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited Biological E Ltd late Thursday evening.

"Our company is committed to manufacturing quality vaccines at prices that make them one of the most cost-effective investments in global health. We are very proud to support immunisation needs of the world's poorest countries and supply life-saving vaccines to underprivileged children in the world," said Mahima Datla, managing director of Biological E after meeting Bill Gates.

His private one-day visit was kept secret for security reasons. The media and junior officials at ICRISAT were not informed.

He arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in a private jet and reached ICRISAT at Patancheru in Medak district, about 50 km from Hyderabad. He interacted with scientists and ICRISAT officials about various food security programmes.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding ICRISAT's Village Dynamics Studies in South Asia (VDSA), a project aimed at fighting hunger and alleviation of poverty in dry lands.

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