PM, Bill Gates reiterate resolve to make Pakistan polio-free

10:00 AM, 5 May, 2024
PM, Bill Gates reiterate resolve to make Pakistan polio-free

RIYADH: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in an important meeting with the founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF), Bill Gates, stressed the need for sustained efforts from all stakeholders to achieve the ultimate goal of a polio-free Pakistan.

In the meeting, held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh, the PM underlined Pakistan's relentless efforts towards eradicating polio from the country.

Both leaders had previously participated in a high-level panel discussion at the WEF, titled "Redefining the Global Health Agenda."

The PM thanked Bill Gates for sending him a warm congratulatory letter upon his re-election. Gates commended the immunization and polio vaccine initiatives in Punjab during Shehbaz Sharif's tenure as chief minister, emphasizing the importance of replicating such practices nationwide for the success of immunization programs.

Reflecting on their previous interactions, the PM reiterated his commitment to build a stronger partnership between Pakistan and the B&MGF, particularly in polio eradication.

Mr Gates acknowledged Pakistan's efforts, recognizing the significance of polio eradication in safeguarding future generations from the debilitating disease.

Mr Sharif and Mr Gates also discussed various ongoing initiatives in immunization, nutrition, and financial inclusion in the country.

The PM highlighted the foundation's role as a trusted partner in Pakistan's socio-economic development, seeking collaboration in diverse areas including IT, STEM education, and disaster management.

Recalling Gates' visit to Pakistan in February 2022, the PM extended an invitation to him for another visit to further strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation.