ISLAMABAD // Millions of Pakistani children were vaccinated against polio between June and September as part of a UAE campaign to help eradicate the disease by 2018.
During the UAE’s four-month effort to combat the disease, children were vaccinated in 25 areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and other tribal regions, said Abdullah Al Ghafli, director of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme.
Mr Al Ghafli told state news agency Wam that the campaign was carried out on schedule and accompanied by an educational campaign about the disease.
As of October 22, Pakistan had reported 210 cases of paralysis caused by wild polio virus this year. This is the highest number of cases on record through October in any year.
This accounts for more than 85 per cent of all cases worldwide, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organisation, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations Children’s Fund and other agencies.
In September alone, more than 5.2 million children were vaccinated in 11 areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 2.4 million children in the tribal regions, said Mr Al Ghafli.
The UAE Pap carried out the inoculation drive in cooperation with the Pakistan army and ministry of health, the WHO and regional governments.
Last year, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, pledged Dh440 million to support global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018.