Philanthropist and tech titan Bill Gates has hailed Pakistan’s dedicated efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic and continued polio vaccination campaign despite the raging second wave of the virus.
In a phone conversation with Pakistan’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation discussed the country’s resolve to manage the pandemic despite the current surge in COVID-19 cases and efforts to “safely conduct polio immunization campaigns and essential immunizations that have continued amid the pandemic.”
Microsoft co-founder pledged his support to reach the ultimate goal of polio eradication from the world and improving the health of all children.
Bill Gates also conveyed his appreciation for Pakistan Army for supporting national polio drive and assuring proper reach and coverage of polio campaigns in 2020, especially through the involvement of community leaders and influencers, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.
General Bajwa said that it was a national cause and national effort. “We will call it a success when no child is affected in Pakistan” he vowed and said that the “Credit goes to the grassroots workers including the mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and health representatives” to ensure that the polio vaccine reaches every last child.
Both also discussed the safe continuation of polio campaigns during the pandemic to ensure the safety of both the polio workers and families reached during the vaccination program.
More than 39 million children under the age of five have been vaccinated during the last nationwide door-to-door immunisation campaign (September 21-25).
In September, Bill Gates in his blog named Pakistani youngster Sikander Bizenjo as one of the COVID-19 heroes from around the world who inspired him. Gates described Sikander’s heroic effort as “the best of humanity at a time of crisis”.