In a move to bolster Bihar's public health standards, the State government on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The objective is to accelerate State-wide improvements in maternal, newborn and child health. Mr. Gates said Bihar remained a priority as far as immunisation drives were concerned, and stressed on the reduction of infant mortality rates, full immunisation coverage and breast feeding. Terming the MoC a “milestone,” he expressed satisfaction at the progress in reducing the number of polio cases in the Kosi belt areas, along with the strides being taken to improve women's health in the State. The Bihar government and the Foundation anticipate the programmes and activities governed by the memorandum to have a five-year duration, from 2010 to 2015.