ISLAMABAD: The Emirates Polio Campaign (EPC) announced on the 8th annual World Polio Day that it had administered over 28 million vaccine doses in Pakistan between July and September 2020, reaching over 16 million children.
The EPC is part of the United Arab Emirates-Pakistan Assistance Programme, which was launched under the directives of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide help and humanitarian assistance to the people of Pakistan and support their development initiatives for a better future.
The campaign works in cooperation with the command of the Pakistani Armed Forces, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the Pakistani Ministry of National Health Services, and Ministries of Health offices in the provincial governments.
Since launching, the campaign has delivered more than 483 million polio vaccines, reaching 86 million children across Pakistan.
Director of the programme, Abdullah Khalifa Al-Ghafli, stated that “the EPC reflects Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s commitment to strengthen global cooperation to prevent the spread of polio and to protect children from this preventable disease”. “Since its founding, the EPC has accomplished a tremendous amount in reaching millions of children with this critical vaccination. We know there is still work ahead in our goal of ensuring every child has a chance at a healthy future and we remain committed to the last mile in eradicating this disease,” he said.
Earlier this year, vaccination programmes around the world were halted due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 and many leaders in the health community warned of a potential new polio crisis. However, the EPC overcame these new challenges and was the first programme in the world to resume polio vaccinations.
Since resuming vaccination campaigns in July, the EPC has also taken a strong role in protecting and educating the communities they serve about the coronavirus.
Its frontline health workers distributed hundreds of thousands of masks and sanitisers to homes as well as healthcare facilities.
In addition, the EPC released a suite of videos and other digital materials on Covid-19 prevention using WhatsApp and social media platforms.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has committed more than $250 million to eradicate the disease, and in 2019 hosted the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.