UAE immunises 20 million Pakistani children

The campaign was launched under the directives of UAE president, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

As part of efforts to stamp out polio, via the Emirates Polio Campaign, the United Arab Emirates has immunised over 20 million Pakistani children, with nearly 87 million vaccines administered.

The campaign was launched under the directives of UAE president, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Speaking at an event in the capital on Monday, Abdullah Khalifa Al Gafli, head of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE-PAP), said that 86.6 million polio vaccine doses were administered to more than 20.6 million Pakistani children aged under five.

He said further that "polio cases in Pakistan have declined to 71% from 82% in the corresponding period last year to 24 cases this year."

Al Gafli added that the polio campaign is reaching children in areas that were previously inaccessible to vaccinators, as the campaign is also working with community leaders to improve confidence in the vaccination programme.

According to the Gulf News, the UAE-PAP  programme used 123,487 teams - 3,205 doctors, 12,765 supervisors and 21,116 security men, using health-care centres and mobile units for remote villages, refugee camps and border areas, covering 49% of Pakistan’s area and  achieving 98.7% success.

He further revealed that that the UAE has also implemented 163 development projects at a cost of $340 million.

Meanwhile, Dr Elias Durry, emergency coordinator for polio eradication at the World Health Organisation (WHO), thanked the UAE for its continued support.

According to Durry, the world has never been closer to wiping polio off the face of the earth, citing the progress made in Africa.

There has been no wild poliovirus cases reported in the region since August 2014.


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