PM Imran, Bill Gates discuss polio drive resumption in Afghanistan

Gates eulogizes PM Imran efforts: Vows to continue support for govt-led welfare programmes

By: News Desk      Published: 12:21 PM, 6 Oct, 2021
PM Imran, Bill Gates discuss polio drive resumption in Afghanistan
File photos.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates has vowed to continue the Foundation’s support for Pakistan-led polio eradication and other social welfare programmes like Ehsaas, besides eulogizing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts in this regard and his government’s successful Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.

In a telephonic conversation with Gates, Prime Minister Khan apprised him of Pakistan’s efforts in eradication of polio in the country. They also discussed the resumption of the polio campaign in Afghanistan to secure the gains, Pakistan has made against the crippling disease in recent years.

In their conversation, both showed their disquiet over the fragile healthcare system in Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio disease does exist. 

The premier told the BMGF Co-Chair that half of the population in Afghanistan was living below the poverty line and in dire need of financial assistance. He called upon him to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. 

The prime minister also informed Gates about Pakistan’s continued progress against polio eradication and lauded the BMGF’s invaluable assistance in this regard.

He told him that the country had reported only one case of wild poliovirus (WPV) this year and positive WPV environmental samples have decreased substantially.

He stressed while the progress was good, the work was still ongoing. “Government remains committed to ending all forms of polio in the country,” the PM added.

Gates lauded Prime Minister Khan for the progress pledging the Foundation’s continued support to the Pakistan polio programme for ensuring that no child in Pakistan was at risk of paralysis due to poliovirus. 

He noticed the positive impact of the Prime Minister’s leadership in convening a meeting with deputy commissioners in high-risk polio districts in August.

Gates also facilitated the prime minister for Pakistan’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out promising Foundation’s continued support of government-led programs, including Ehsaas which was making impressive progress, and the digitization of the National Savings Program through Karandaaz.

He also offered cooperation to improve the health and well-being of Pakistanis.

PM Khan thanked Gates for his Foundation’s continued support to Pakistan.