Sat 09-07-2016 18:08 PM
ISLAMABAD, 9th July 2016 (WAM) --- The UAE has provided 116,177,794 million polio vaccines for Pakistani children aged under five from January 2014 to the end of May 2016 through the Emirates Polio Campaign, launched under directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and as part of an initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, to eradicate polio.
The UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE-PAP), which runs the polio drive in Pakistan, said the polio drive benefited children in 66 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas over the five-month period.
The effort is part of the UAE government's 2013 pledge of AED440 million for supporting global efforts to put the world over the finish line for polio eradication by 2018, with a focus on Pakistan, which has one of world's highest rates of polio infection.
In 2011, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced they are working together to provide life-saving vaccinations to children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The partnership commits a total of US$100 million – $50 million from each partner – for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines that will save Afghan and Pakistani children and prevent disease for a lifetime.
In 2014 alone, 13,283,701 vaccines were administered to Pakistani children. In the period from January to May 2016, an additional 29,594,862 vaccines were delivered to the four provinces, Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the UAE-PAP said.
The UAE-PAP polio campaign harnessed its teams, healthcare centres and mobile units to deliver vaccines to remote villages, refugee camps and border areas.
The project's administration said that the polio vaccination campaign is being carried out on schedule and was accompanied by an educational campaign to promote awareness of the highly infectious and dangerous disease that attacks the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or death.
Al Ghafli noted that the success of the vaccination campaign proves that the humanitarian efforts and initiatives of the UAE are remarkably effective and that the UAE is playing a leading role in assisting the poor and underprivileged across the in support of the UN's efforts to protect people against diseases and disasters and to provide dignified living for all.