ISLAMABAD: Co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates has reiterated his commitment to continue supporting efforts of Pakistan for polio eradication.
He voiced this commitment during a meeting with Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar in Abu Dhabi. Both discussed partnership of the foundation with the Pakistani government in the health sector.
A wide range of areas in health sector were discussed, including Pakistan’s progress in polio eradication, mother and child health and innovations in health care.
Both sides nominated focal persons to carry forward the collaboration and finalize details. Dr Hassan was nominated from Bill and Melina Gates Foundation whereas Dr Assad Hafeez Director General Health was nominated as focal person from Ministry of National Health Services.
Bill Gates offered support to Pakistan in the area of innovations in health and strengthening mother and child care and reproductive health.
He lauded Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for his personal attention and oversight in making the polio eradication effort successful.
Saira said the National Task Force in August reaffirmed polio eradication as high national priority. Pakistan is monitoring heightened vigilance with the aim of simultaneously raising performance across current hotspots where the virus is still circulating. she added.
She said that polio eradication in Pakistan enjoys broad based political support and was seen as a national imperative.
This ensures sustainability of the initiative and this program will continue with a strong administrative base which was already supporting the programme.