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Shehbaz Sharif determines to eradicate polio from Pakistan

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Pakistan’s prime minister Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed his government’s determination to eradicate polio from the country, which has reported five cases this year. He made this statement during a meeting of the National Taskforce for Polio Eradication in Islamabad, which was attended by Bill Gates and officials from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to state-run Radio Pakistan.

The prime minister emphasized that both federal and provincial governments are working together with unwavering commitment to eliminate polio once and for all.

“It is in this spirit that we have undertaken five polio campaigns in the last six months,” he said.
He told the meeting that “our polio eradication efforts will produce results in weeks and months”.

The prime minister also highlighted other areas of collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including digitalization. He praised Bill Gates for his contributions to alleviating human suffering, particularly in the eradication of polio and malnutrition in Pakistan, as well as in improving mother and child healthcare.

Bill Gates, speaking at the event, stated that the Foundation’s program to eliminate polio in Pakistan will continue for the next two and a half to three years to ensure the country achieves zero polio cases. Pakistan, along with Afghanistan, remains the only country in the region where the poliovirus is still present. So far in 2024, five polio cases have been reported: four in Baluchistan and one in Sindh.

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