Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, held a telephone call with the Co-Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Bill Gates. The two had discussions on the ongoing public health and social sector programs which are directly supported by BMGF in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sharif appreciated the valuable support which is provided by the BMGF to Pakistan in polio eradication & improving immunization, nutrition as well as financial inclusion in the nation.
Meanwhile, he reaffirmed the desire of Pakistan to further empower the partnership with the Foundation in all the ongoing routes of cooperation.
PM Sharif emphasised that his Government remains committed to controlling all forms of Polio in the nation. While extending concern over-reporting of fresh cases in 2022 after a year without any case of Polio, he noted with that there has been a stop in polio cases since September this year.
At the same time, in the light of recent floods, which have adversely affected the ongoing polio vaccination efforts because of the large scale displacements and destruction of healthcare infrastructure, PM Sharif reaffirmed that the Government is actively executing the special emergency response plan & will continue to adapt as well as find ways to meet children in these tough times.
Notably, Bill Gates expressed regret for the loss of lives in the recent floods in Pakistan. He also acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan to eradicate Polio and reiterated his Foundations’ continued support to Pakistan for ensuring that almost no child is at risk of paralysis because of poliovirus.
Several other government-led programmes have been supported by the BMGF aiming at addressing malnutrition and stunting, vital immunization services, micropayment gateway RAAST & digitization of the National Savings Programme were also discussed.
Moreover, the Prime Minister and Bill Gates have agreed to continue working alongside each other on the shared objectives in the areas of mutual cooperation.