World Polio Day 2021: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed reaffirms commitment to eradicating disease

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince praises healthcare workers for remarkable progress

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to wiping out polio.

He was speaking during World Polio Day, on Sunday.

Posting pictures of children being given the polio vaccine, Sheikh Mohamed expressed his gratitude to those helping to eradicate the disease.

"Thanks to the dedication of many, including frontline health workers, remarkable progress has been made in the global effort to end polio," he said.

"Today on #WorldPolioDay, together with our partners, we reaffirm our commitment to working towards a safer, healthier future free from polio."

World Polio Day was added to the calendar more than a decade ago to raise awareness of the disease. The date chosen, October 24, was the birthday of Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.

Today, five out of six World Health Organisation regions are certified free of wild polio, including the WHO European Region, which was declared polio-free in 2002.

Only two countries in the world have endemic circulation of wild poliovirus. In addition, two of the three types of wild poliovirus have been eradicated.

The Emirates has helped to vaccinate more than 102 million children against polio in Pakistan in the past eight years, the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme announced on Saturday.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, also praised the work of the UAE vaccination campaign in Pakistan.

In a phone call with the campaign’s team, Sheikh Abdullah said that "due to the commitment and courage of the UAE Polio Vaccination Campaign, we are now closer than ever before to achieving the objective of having a world free from polio".

More than 583 million doses of polio vaccine were administered from 2014 to the end of September this year as part of the UAE campaign.

Since 2011, Sheikh Mohamed has donated $250 million to humanitarian and charity efforts aimed at providing vaccines and funding polio eradication campaigns.

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Updated: October 24, 2021, 1:30 PM