In first-ever Pakistan visit Bill Gates lauds polio-eradication campaign
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates Thursday appreciated Pakistan’s polio-eradication campaign during his maiden trip to the country.
Gates, who is visiting Pakistan for a day, landed early morning and held meetings with senior government officials, including a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, a statement from the PM Office said.
The philanthropist attended a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication, where he noted that despite COVID-19 restrictions, Pakistan has performed “amazingly” in eradicating polio.
Gates thanked the prime minister for inviting him and extending warm hospitality on his first-ever visit. He appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani leadership, health workers, and parents for working tirelessly to ensure polio never paralyses a child again.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Prime Minister AJ&K Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Khalid Khurshid, provincial health ministers Azra Fazal Pechuho and Ehsan Shah, representatives of international organisations, and senior officers attended the meeting, while deputy commissioners from across Pakistan joined via video link.
During the meeting, the prime minister thanked the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its continued support and partnership with the Government of Pakistan for the eradication of the poliovirus.
Hosted @BillGates at the NCOC this morning. Shared with him the work which has been done for covid response in Pakistan and the role played by @OfficialNcoc. Thanked him for the support provided by the @gatesfoundation. He was appreciative of the covid response effort in Pakistan pic.twitter.com/pasYqnJ2gq— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) February 17, 2022
The prime minister underlined that the government is fully committed and determined to eliminate this debilitating disease from the country.
PM Imran Khan asserted that Afghanistan, being the primary source of polio incidence in Pakistan’s two bordering provinces, requires urgent international support to avert the humanitarian crisis.
“Pakistan is providing full support to 40 million Afghan people in need of basic amenities,” the prime minister informed the philanthropist.