Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has reaffirmed the Foundation’s ongoing collaboration and support for Pakistan during this trying time.
He reaffirmed that the Gates Foundation will continue its present support, including the disaster relief operations in flood-affected districts of Balochistan and Sindh, during his meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in New York. Following the floods, Bill Gates voiced his worry for the people of Pakistan.
Bill Gates and the Prime Minister spoke about how the floods might affect polio eradication, maternity health care, and vaccine programs.
The Prime Minister praised Bill Gates for the Gates Foundation’s support of Pakistan’s relief efforts so far and emphasized the need to prioritize maternal and newborn care in flood-affected areas.
On polio eradication, they discussed that eradication efforts are facing a challenging situation because of the floods, especially after a recent rise in the number of wild polio cases. The government’s commitment to pursuing the campaign assiduously was reiterated by the prime minister.
In order to urgently reach vulnerable children with polio vaccines through the end of 2022 and stop the illness from re-establishing itself in Pakistan’s major cities, they decided to keep working together with polio partners. Bill Gates commended the prime minister for continuing to place a high priority on ending polio.
The Prime Minister and Bill Gates also discussed how the polio program is utilizing its strong infrastructure to support the acute phase of the flood response. This includes deploying its surveillance system to look for outbreaks of malaria, dengue fever, and other water-borne diseases as well as assisting in the distribution of additional life-saving vaccines to children.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the polio program, which is running 1,200 health camps in Pakistan’s most severely impacted flood zones.
They also discussed how important it is to keep up their strong collaboration so that Pakistan may continue to advance in terms of development and health, especially by strengthening agricultural resilience and constructing resilient infrastructure that can survive future climatic shocks.