Bill Gates praises Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for supporting global fight against polio

The co-founder of Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid tribute to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - April 08, 2016: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (L) meets with Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (R), at Al Shati Palace.
( Mohamed Al Hammadi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi )
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Bill Gates has praised Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for his "strong commitment" to the global fight to eradicate polio.

The co-founder of Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said the strides that have been made to combat the disease would not have been possible without the support of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The UAE has been a partner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s mission to eradicate polio since 2011.

Since then it has helped vaccinate millions of children against the infectious viral disease, which can result in permanent disability and death.

Between 2014 and 2017, the campaign, using funding from the UAE, administered 254.4 million doses of vaccines to 43 million children in Pakistan.

“The world’s historic progress to #endpolio would not be possible without the strong commitment of partners like His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the UAE,” said Mr Gates on Twitter.

The foundation's campaign was recently extended to include a further 83 areas in four provinces of Pakistan, helping reach an extra 13 million children. More than 96,000 workers, including medical staff, management and security teams, were involved in administering the campaign.

Yet, despite these successes, the disease remains a deadly danger in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – the only three countries on the planet still be to free of polio.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently launched the Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023, which will address the final hurdles involved in eradicating the disease.

Abu Dhabi will host a forum called ‘Reaching the Last Mile’ to support the new strategy in November.

The disease has been eradicated in the West for more than half a century.

A global campaign to eradicate polio was launched in 1988, with international support. The UAE was declared polio free in 1992.

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