Over 116 million vaccines for Pakistan children by UAE polio drive

By: | Published: July 12, 2016 4:06 PM

The Emirates Polio Campaign was launched in 66 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The Emirates Polio Campaign was launched in 66 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. (Reuters)The Emirates Polio Campaign was launched in 66 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. (Reuters)

The UAE has donated nearly 116 million vaccines to Pakistan for over two years in a bid to eradicate polio from the country.

The Emirates Polio Campaign was launched in 66 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The campaign is part of the UAE government’s 2013 decision to donate 440 million Dirhams 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, WAM news agency reported.

In 2011, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and business magnate Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced they are working together to provide vaccinations to children in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it said.

The partnership commits a total of USD 100 million – USD 50 million from each partner – for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines that are aimed at saving Afghan and Pakistani children, the report said.

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-Pakistan Assistance Programme said.

The UAE-PAP polio campaign harnessed its teams, healthcare centers and mobile units to deliver vaccines to remote villages, refugee camps and border areas.

Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

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