Bill Gates thanks President Sheikh Mohamed for helping reduce polio by 99.9%

Both Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Gates have been strong supporters of eradicating the disease worldwide

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Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has thanked President Sheikh Mohamed for his help in eradicating polio.

On Wednesday, Mr Gates retweeted Sheikh Mohamed's message posted during World Polio Day on Monday, in which the UAE President said the hard work being done to eradicate polio means there is an end in sight.

Commenting on the retweet, Mr Gates said: “I’m deeply grateful for the efforts of partners like President Sheikh Mohamed who have helped reduce the global polio burden by 99.9 per cent and prevented an estimated 20 million children from being paralysed.

“Together, we can overcome the last hurdles and achieve a polio-free world.”

Polio, a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, is close to being eliminated. The disease remains endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where instability and resistance to vaccination programmes make it harder to control.

Both Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Gates have been strong supporters of eradicating the disease worldwide.

The pair met in Abu Dhabi in December to discuss their co-operation in the fight against diseases such as polio and malaria.

Since 2011, Sheikh Mohamed has committed more than $376 million to support global polio eradication efforts, which is part of his commitment to end preventable diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Sunday pledged to invest $1.2 billion towards wiping out polio.

The donation will be managed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by governments that aims to end the disease by 2026.

“Polio eradication is within reach but as far as we have come, the disease remains a threat,” said Mr Gates, co-chairman of the foundation.

Polio mostly affects young children. In a minority of cases, it causes paralysis and even death, although highly effective vaccines have greatly reduced the condition’s global impact.

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Updated: October 26, 2022, 5:38 PM