PM Imran, Bill Gates discuss resumption of polio campaigns in Pakistan | Pakistan Today

PM Imran, Bill Gates discuss resumption of polio campaigns in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Tuesday and discussed the latest situation on Covid-19 response and resumption of polio vaccination campaigns in Pakistan.
During the conversation, the premier apprised the philanthropist about the improved Covid-19 situation in Pakistan with a considerable reduction in new cases and the fatality rate.
The prime minister shared that the ‘smart lockdowns’ policy of the government had proved very effective as the timely and prudent interventions enabled the government to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on health and economy successfully averted a larger catastrophe.
He also acknowledged the continued support of the Gates Foundation to Pakistan which includes Covid-19 response. He noted that the repurposing of polio infrastructure played an important role in the Covid-19 response.
The premier reaffirmed polio eradication as a key priority of his government.
Both PM Imran and Gates expressed satisfaction over the resumption of polio vaccination campaigns along with appropriate Covid-19 precautions.
They agreed to enhance the program to ensure vaccination for children across the country, including in remote areas.
The two sides also discussed prospects of using existing structures such as the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), currently supporting the Covid-19 response, which could help support polio eradication efforts.
The prime minister expressed his confidence in Pakistan’s ability to apply lessons from its Covid-19 response to eradicate polio.
Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to combat the pandemic while protecting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations.
PM Imran and Gates agreed to continue their cooperation on shared priorities.