In a bid to provide financial aid to health sector in flood-hit Bihar, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has deputed a task force to explore the affected areas in the state.

The eight-member team, led by the foundation’s country head Ashok Alexander, visited several areas in flood-affected Madhepura and Samastipur districts on Saturday, principal secretary of health department C K Mishra said here on Sunday.

Microsoft chief Bill Gates had last month evinced interest to help Bihar in tackling major health concerns, including polio and kala-azar, health officials said.

The team also met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and discussed various health schemes in the state, Mr. Mishra said, adding that it was impressed with the success rate of health projects launched in Bihar.

“It was a fruitful visit and we discussed health-related issues. We wanted to understand the situation first before deciding the area where the foundation could play a role,” Alexander told reporters after his meeting with Mr. Kumar.

The foundation in joint collaboration with a NGO is already working in the state in the field of kala-azar.