Bill Gates discusses polio, other health related issues with Zardari

Microsoft Corporation chairman discussed health related issues with Pak Prez.

Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 16:43 PM IST

Islamabad: Microsoft Corporation chairman Bill Gates has discussed health related issues in Pakistan with President Asif Ali Zardari, particularly the progress made on the polio eradication campaign in the country.

Gates telephoned Zardari, who thanked the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation for providing generous contribution and support to the Pakistan government for the noble cause of polio eradication and making Pakistan a polio free country, The News quoted presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, as saying.

Zardari said the Pakistan government had launched the National Emergency Action Plan 2011 for polio eradication, and informed Gates that he had directed the health department to implement the plan vigorously in all parts of the country, particularly the tribal areas, to make Pakistan a polio-free nation.

The President said he was pleased that the country’s entire leadership had endorsed the new National Emergency Plan and were fully geared to take forward the emergency action plan on polio.

The President assured Gates that there would be strict oversight of the plan at the national and provincial levels through monitoring cells.

The government is taking all possible steps to working on a fast track emergency plan with the support of security forces to ensure access to children and households in the security sensitive areas, so that not even a single child is left without polio vaccination in the country, he added.

Gates thanked Zardari for the firm commitment of the Pakistan government towards polio eradication in the country, and assured of the all out support of the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation in the anti-polio drive and complete eradication of polio from Pakistan.

Zardari thanked Gates for the gesture and expressed the hope that his Foundation would continue to work in Pakistan for the social welfare and uplift of the downtrodden people there.