PM Kakar, Bill Gates discuss progress on Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts

PM Kakar, Bill Gates, Pakistan polio

DUBAI: Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Anwaarul Haq Kakar and Bill Gates, co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), on Saturday met on the sidelines of COP-28 and discussed progress on Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts.

The prime minister apprised Bill Gates of the ongoing polio vaccination drive in Pakistan and said that Pakistan would spare no effort to eliminate poliovirus, said a statement issued by PM Office Media Wing.

During the meeting, PM Kakar underlined the Government’s full commitment to maximizing outreach of vaccines to children all across Pakistan.

The caretaker prime minister and Gates also discussed cooperation extended by BMGF to Pakistan in financial inclusion, poverty alleviation and malnutrition.

While lauding the support received from the Gates Foundation, the prime minister further encouraged the BMGF to work with Pakistan to enhance national capacities in STEM education, strengthen early warning and emergency operations for disaster management as well as to digitalize agricultural value chains.

Read More: Pakistan fully committed to eradicate polio virus: PM Kakar

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

Today, Pakistan reported its sixth polio case of 2023 after a nine-month-old child in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Orakzai district became the latest victim of the crippling disease.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the polio virus was found in a 9-month-old child in Orakzai district.

Caretaker Minister for Health Dr. Nadeem Jan said that steps are being taken on an emergency basis to eradicate polio.

At least 21.6 million children were administered polio drops during the last polio drive of the ongoing year.