Bill Gates lauds Pakistan’s progress in fight against polio

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates has expressed gratitude to President Dr Arif Alvi for “warmly” welcoming him on his first visit to Pakistan and honouring him with ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’ award, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Gates, in a letter to the president, commended the government’s “high-level commitment to protect the health and well-being of every child in Pakistan, including the work to secure a polio-free for generations of children to come.”

He noted that Pakistan has made remarkable progress in the fight against wild poliovirus with no cases for over a year – although circulation of the disease has persisted in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Your continued engagement on polio will go a long way to accelerating your country’s continued progress,” the Microsoft co-founder said.

“I’m also glad we had the opportunity to discuss other challenges of vital importance, particularly tackling stunting and malnutrition, access to family planning services and commodities, and effective targeting of social protection programmes such as Ehsaas,” he added.

Gates said he looks forward to a deepening partnership between the government of Pakistan and his foundation to tackle these and other issues of shared interest.

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