UAE launches polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan

IANS| Last Updated: May 28, 2014, 21:38 PM IST

Islamabad: On the directive of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAE PAP) has announced the launch of a vaccination campaign against polio in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other tribal areas in Pakistan.

The campaign, under the slogan 'Health for All - Better Future', was launched during a press conference in Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

"The launch of the UAE vaccination campaign came as per the directives of His Highness the Head of State to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the friendly people of Pakistan,” Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, director of UAE PAP, said.

“It also comes as part of the initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to eradicate polio in the world." 

He pointed out that the UAE campaign is a humanitarian initiative aimed at vaccinating 3.643 million Pakistani children against polio over a period of three months - June, August and September, 2014.

Sheikh Mohamed had previously donated 440 million (around $120 million) as a contribution in support of the global effort to eradicate polio by 2018, with special focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This contribution is the second one to be provided by Sheikh Mohamed for delivering life-saving vaccines to children all over the world.

In 2011, Sheikh Mohamed and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership according to which a total amount of $100 million, divided equally between the two parties, was presented for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Also, the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2013 saw the announcement of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan which aims to completely eradicate polio, which would cost the international community $5.5 billion.