Bill Gates, Founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hailed in an article published in a number of Arab and International newspapers, the efforts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to eradicate polio.
Bill Gates pointed to the generous donations made by the UAE to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation in 2012, where it has allocated US$33 million to immunise children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He also praised the contribution made by the UAE, under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for the generous donations to eradicate polio in Pakistan and other countries of the world, and what it has done tirelessly to fight misconceptions that limit the success of immunisation campaigns, which have resulted in the success of the efforts of the UAE's leadership in northern Pakistan, thanks to the close and long relations between the peoples of these two countries.
In his article entitled "Gulf Countries at the forefront in improving the lives of poor people", Gates touched on their future vision for the lives of people in poor countries, which is expected to improve at an accelerated and unprecedented pace in the next 15 years in the field of healthcare, the low mortality rate among children and the elimination of more of infectious diseases.
Gates also expressed his thanks and appreciation for the donations provided by governments and individuals in the Gulf Cooperation Council States (GCC) to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, which will save the lives of many children, and will prevent the suffering of a greater number of them in the future, which convinces them even more that this important region of the world can play a greater role in eliminating the diseases and preventing their spread, and upgrading the level of public health for the poorest peoples of the world.
He also praised the opportunity provided to them to work with many distinguished partners in the region, such as "Dubai Cares" and other generous institutions which proved to them that the governments and citizens of the GCC are now ready to contribute more to the upgrading of public health level internationally.
It is worth mentioning that as per the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE has provided humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Pakistan to eradicate polio, through an effort launched by the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has donated Dh440 million (US$120 million), as his contribution to support the global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018, with a particular focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In 2011, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership, during which they would provide a total amount of US$100 million dollars to be divided equally between the two parties for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Emirates vaccination campaign against polio has succeeded in its first phase to immunise 13,283,701 Pakistani children through its campaigns that included 25 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and tribal areas in province Fatih, which are carried out during the months of June, July, August and September of 2014.
The second phase of the Emirates vaccination campaign was also launched in the beginning of this year in Pakistan, which included 53 areas, including 15 districts in the territory of the tribal areas of Fatih and 25 districts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 12 districts in the province of Baluchistan, as well as the Karachi area in Sindh province.
The vaccination teams gave three consecutive doses to 17 million children, or a total of 51 million doses, through the implementation of 282 fixed and mobile vaccination campaigns during the months of January, February, March and April of 2015.