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WHO praises UAE in fight against polio

WHO praises UAE in fight against polio

The UAE has contributed more than $128m since 2013 in support of global efforts to eradicate polio

The United Arab Emirates has won plaudits from the World Health Organisation for its part in the battle against polio.

According to the WHO, more than 15.5 million children in Pakistan have been inoculated against the disease through the UAE’s Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) – an initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

In a report published on its website, the WHO praised the UAE and the leadership of the country’s president, Sheikh Khalifa, as well as the Crown Prince.

Quoted in the report, the WHO’s representative to Pakistan, Michel Thieren, said: “Much of the recent success in Pakistan is owed to innovative practices and outreach strategies that the programme is turning to in the last mile.”

UAE PAP is part of the UAE government’s pledge to support global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018. Its 2013 pledge of $120m was launched with a focus on Pakistan, which has one of the world’s highest rates of polio infection.

In July this year the initiative announced a further contribution of $8.3m to focus on the 66 high risk districts identified for support.

The report also states: “In the first five months of this year, more than 10.5 million children received repeated doses of polio drops in the campaigns supported by UAE PAP.”

Thieren added: “We are extremely grateful to the United Arab Emirates and the director of the Director of UAE PAP, Mr Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, for the multi-year long commitment shown to ending polio in Pakistan. Mr Al Ghafli truly is a polio eradicator.”

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