Abu Dhabi: The UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) has announced the results of the UAE Polio Vaccination Campaign carried out in Pakistan from 2014 to the end of September 2021, highlighting that the campaign succeeded in administering 583,240,876 doses of vaccination against polio in eight years for more than 102 million Pakistani children.
The move follows the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the support of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the follow-up of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, to offer humanitarian and development aid to Pakistan, support its health sector and launch-related prevention programmes in the country.
The UAE PAP highlighted the fact that the campaign was implemented thanks to an initiative of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to eradicate polio around the world, in line with the UAE’s humanitarian approach and cooperation with international organisations, through drafting social development programmes, curbing the spread of pandemics and diseases, providing humanitarian and health aid to underprivileged communities and people, and supporting global polio eradication initiatives.
Since 2011, Sheikh Mohamed donated USD 250 million to humanitarian and charity efforts aimed at providing vaccines and financing polio eradication campaigns, most notably in countries targeted by his initiative, which are Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Since the beginning of 2021, the campaign in Pakistan has succeeded in providing 75,148,404 doses of vaccination against polio, bringing the total number, provided by the campaign since 2014 and until 2021, to 583, 240,876 vaccination doses.
During the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE Polio Vaccination Campaign manages to provide 127,664,157 doses of the vaccine from July 2020 until September 2021.
The campaign’s geographical coverage comprised 84 difficult to reach high-risk areas in Pakistan, and its scope included 34 areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, where local children received 298,581,946 doses of the vaccine, as well as 33 areas of Balochistan Province where children received 86,898,201 doses of the vaccine, 14 areas of Sindh Province where children received 173,557,631 doses and three areas in Punjab Province where children received 24,203,098 doses.
The programme noted that the field efforts to launch vaccination campaigns in various Pakistani provinces saw the participation of more than 103,000 doctors, observers and members of vaccination teams, as well as over 82,000 security personnel and coordination teams, who were focused on delivering vaccines to the targeted children.
The campaign also allocated special vaccination teams to provide vaccines to more than 597,000 Afghan refugee children in 22 refugee camps.
Speaking on the occasion, Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of UAE PAP, attributed the outstanding success of the UAE Polio Vaccination Campaign to the wise leadership’s support for the campaign’s field efforts, as the UAE is distinguished by its vision and efforts in implementing humanitarian and development projects directed at protecting underprivileged peoples and communities from diseases, epidemics, crises and disasters.
He confirmed as well that the constant and generous support of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for the various global programmes and efforts being made to eradicate diseases is one of the most important factors that contribute to the success of these programmes, and had a direct and significant positive impact on improving the quality of life and the future of millions of people in different countries of the world.
Al Ghafli highlighted that the polio eradication initiative of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also contributed to creating positive global humanitarian alliances and strategic partnerships between governments and UN agencies, including the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and global charity organisations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Thus, the initiative raised the level of success rate in reaching the targeted children and increased the achievement rate in the countries targeted by vaccination campaigns.
He then lauded the efforts and sacrifices of vaccination teams comprising doctors, nurses and security personnel who faced dire field conditions and challenges, which contributed to achieving the programme’s success and outstanding achievement.
The UAE PAP Director concluded by saying that the occasion of World Polio Day, observed every year on October 24, represents a humanitarian message that includes commitment and international cooperation to protect innocent children and prevent them from diseases, especially polio, and to support the efforts and sacrifices of all contributors and workers in the field to achieve this humanitarian goal.