PM Shehbaz and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), had a telephone conversation to discuss the ongoing public health and social sector programs supported by BMGF. The PM remained committed to ending all forms of polio in the country. PM Shehbaz and Bill Gates agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives and in the areas of mutual cooperation.

PM Shehbaz and Bill Gates Talk About the Rise in Polio Cases

The billionaire was concerned about the rising number of polio cases in the country after a long pause since September 2022. The PM appreciated BMGF’s support to Pakistan in polio eradication, improving immunization, nutrition, and financial inclusion in the country. He further expressed the desire to strengthen the partnership between the two in all the ongoing areas of cooperation. The two leaders discussed other government-led programs also supported by the BMGF aimed at addressing malnutrition and stunting, essential immunization services, micropayment gateway RAAST, and digitization of the National Savings Programme.

Flash Flooding in Pakistan

Bill Gates also talked about the recent calamity that has hit Pakistan. He said that the floods have badly impacted the polio vaccination drive due to the large-scale displacements and loss of healthcare infrastructure. However, Shehbaz Sharif assured that the government is actively implementing the special emergency response plan and will continue to adapt and find ways to reach out to children in these challenging times. The philanthropist deeply regretted the precious lives lost to flooding and acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate Polio. He reiterated his Foundation’s continued support to Pakistan for ensuring that no child is at risk of paralysis due to poliovirus.

Also read: Bill Gates Lauds Pakistan Army for Supporting Anti-Polio Drive



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