In conversation with Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bajwa, philanthropist reiterates commitment to support national effort against poliovirus
Appreciating the Pakistan Army for its unwavering support for the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, philanthropist Bill Gates has hailed the country’s success in curbing its spread despite massive resource constraints.
In a telephone conversation with Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation discussed the country’s resumption of its polio campaign, as well as the COVID-19 response.
According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations directorate general, the Army chief credited the success against COVID-19 to a united national response executed through the National Coordination Committee. He said the centralized body had allowed for the optimization of resources available to combat the threat posed by coronavirus.
The Army chief also hailed grassroots workers, including mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and healthcare representatives for supporting Pakistan’s efforts to become a polio-free nation.
In their call, both men also discussed the safe resumption of Pakistan’s polio eradication campaign following a halt due to the pandemic, as well as ongoing efforts required to overcome its threat in the country.
The ISPR cited Gates as reiterating his foundation’s commitment to support Pakistan in its goal of ending polio and improving health for every child.
Pakistan is one of only three countries where the poliovirus remains endemic—the other two are Afghanistan and Nigeria. The country appeared to be on the path to eradicating the virus in 2018 but has seen a drastic spike in new infections in the past two years, raising concerns on containing it.