U.A.E. polio campaign vaccinates 2.5 million children in 21 areas in Pakistan

ISLAM ABAD: Two and a half million children in Pakistan were vaccinated last week against polio in 21 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and tribal regions, in the second week of a U.A.E. mass campaign launched by the U.A.E. Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP), in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and as part of the initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of U.A.E. Armed Forces.

U.A.E. Pakistan Assistance Programme said between 7-19 June, nearly five thousand teams had worked intensively in nine areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and in 12 areas in tribal regions to vaccinate more than two and a half million children aged under five years against polio as part of the campaign using health centres at local communities and mobile units to reach remote areas.

The three-month U.A.E. polio vaccination campaign which targets more than 3.6 million children in 24 areas in Pakistan is being carried out in cooperation with Pakistan’s army, Pakistan’s ministry of health, representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO) and Pakistan’s regional governments.

On 24th April 2013, one day ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of U.A.E. Armed Forces, pledged a donation of AED440 million to support global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018.

Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the U.A.E. Pakistan Assistance Programme, described the polio vaccination campaign as “an exceptional success” that further recognises U.A.E.’s humanitarian efforts under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and proves that the country’s initiatives to assist poor countries facing bad humanitarian conditions contribute to the effective building and development of communities for a brighter future.

“The campaign is the latest addition to U.A.E. leadership’s humanitarian initiatives to protect children worldwide from diseases and epidemics.” He underscored the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed which contributes to efforts to eradicate polio in one of the world’s main hotspots.

Al Ghafli noted that the ongoing U.A.E. polio campaign has overcome geography which posed a big challenge as all previous local and international polio vaccination campaigns failed to reach these areas, which accounted for 95% of Pakistan’s polio cases in the past six months, resulting in wider spread of the disease into other areas.

Sound planning and well-organised execution contributed to the success of the campaign which received wide response from the locals who affirmed their confidence in U.A.E. and the humanitarian initiatives launched by its leadership for the good of their children.

The locals of the targeted Pakistani areas who expressed their thanks and appreciation for all the efforts of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, affirmed that they are keen on benefiting from the U.A.E. polio campaign which they described is a welcome initiative by a Muslim and friendly country to vaccinate their children.

Aysha Hassan, who is in charge of women’s health department in Peshawar, said, “The mass vaccination campaign is effective because it an initiative of U.A.E. It has drawn unprecedented response”

SOURCE: WAM