Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Bill Gates had a telephonic chat to discuss the ongoing public health and social sector programmes supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF) in Pakistan. They also discussed the anti-polio campaign over the call, where the premier appreciates BMGF’s support to make Pakistan a polio-free state.
PM Shehbaz Sharif and Bill Gates Discussed the Rising Cases of Polio
During the phone call, PM Shehbaz and Bill Gates discussed the rise in the polio case in Pakistan. PM Shehbaz said that his government remained committed to ending all forms of polio in the country. While noting that all cases of poliovirus confirmed so far this year belonged to the southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP). He also mentioned that his government is actively implementing the special emergency response plan to scale up and improve the quality of the polio eradication programme.
The incumbent PM said that the government is also focused on strengthening operations at all levels of the program and empowering districts to make decisions based on the specific needs of their areas. He said that the highest priority of the government is to provide safety and security to all members of the polio programme, especially the frontline workers. While Bill Gates renewed his resolve to continue backing Pakistan for the cause.
Gates Ensured Complete Support
The Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation assured to continue support in eradicating the polio virus from the country to ensure that no child was at risk of paralysis due to poliovirus. Bill Gates also discussed other government-led programmes aimed at addressing malnutrition and stunting, essential immunisation services, micropayment gateway RAAST, and digitization of the National Savings Programme. PM Shehbaz reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen its partnership with the foundation in all the ongoing areas of cooperation.