Commitment to child health is top priority

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Commitment to child health is top priority

General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, pledged, on Wednesday, a donation of $120m (Dh440m) in support of global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018, with a specific contribution towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By (Wam)

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Published: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 9:49 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:56 AM

The pledge came on the eve of the inaugural Global Vaccine Summit being held in Abu Dhabi in partnership with Gen. Shaikh Mohammed, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates.

Gen. Shaikh Mohammed with Bill Gates in Abu Dhabi. —WamEase sufferings of needy people

General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at Al Etihad Towers on Wednesday.

Gen. Shaikh Mohammed said the UAE, under the wise leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, always seeks to boost its efforts and contributions in easing the suffering of the needy people in different parts of the world by directly supporting and getting engaged in humanitarian initiatives.

Gen. Shaikh Mohammed discussed with Gates topics and activities of the Global Vaccine Summit, currently taking place in Abu Dhabi. The meeting also touched on the efforts by international organisations, as well as government and non-government organisations, to eradicate polio by 2018.

The two sides stressed the need to rally efforts to define a clear vision for providing assistance to the countries and communities lacking proper healthcare services. They also exchanged views on the ideas and humanitarian initiatives that could address the difficult situations in poor countries.

Bill Gates thanked Gen. Shaikh Mohammed for his support to the international campaigns and for his initiatives in helping needy countries and people by providing life saving vaccines. - Wam

The Summit brings together 300 global leaders, health and development experts, vaccinators, philanthropists and business leaders to endorse the critical role that vaccines and immunisation play in giving children a healthy start to life, and includes additional financial pledges to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) new, comprehensive six-year plan.

Gen Shaikh Mohammed stated: “Saving generations of children from preventable diseases is a humanitarian initiative that can only be achieved through global collaboration. Under the leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE strives to engage in global partnerships that solve these significant international issues.”

“With global polio cases at a record low, the world has the historic opportunity to eradicate this debilitating disease within the next six years. Together, the international community can successfully tackle this challenge at this critical moment to create a world without polio for the lasting benefit of future generations.” This is the second major donation made by Gen Shaikh Mohammed to support the delivery of life-saving vaccines to children around the world.

“Today’s announcement is a critical step towards fully funding the world’s comprehensive plan to achieve a polio-free world and protect children for all time from this preventable disease. I’m grateful to Gen. Shaikh Mohammed for his leadership, friendship and commitment to ensuring all children have access to the life-saving vaccines they need,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a co-host of the Global Vaccine Summit.

The new Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) strategic plan addresses the operational challenges of vaccinating children, including in densely populated urban areas, hard-to-reach areas and in areas of insecurity. The plan includes the use of polio eradication experience and resources to strengthen immunisation systems in high-priority countries. It also lays out a process for planning how to transition the GPEI’s resources and lessons, particularly in reaching the most marginalised and vulnerable children and communities. It is estimated that GPEI’s efforts to eradicate polio could deliver total net benefits of $40-50 billion by 2035 from reduced treatment costs and gains in productivity.



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