ISLAMABAD: While praising the Pakistani government’s commitment to the eradication of polio, Chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates has committed that financial aid for Pakistan will be increased, according to Dawn News.
This was reportedly mentioned in a letter sent by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Minister for National Health Services (NHS) Saira Afzal Tarar.
The announcement comes just days after it was declared by the Trump administration that all financial aid to Pakistan will be suspended.
The letter, according to the newspaper, suggests that Director General (DG) of Health Dr Asad Hafeez should be chosen for communication between the ministry and Foundation.
Gates is one of the richest people in the world with a fortune of around $9 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has routinely provided aid to Pakistan to help eradicate polio from the country.
Polio invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours – and WHO´s repeated warning is that as long as any poliovirus is circulating, people are at risk. But the world is now on the brink of wiping out polio forever, with only 12 cases of the contagious viral disease recorded worldwide so far this year – in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Global health experts say stopping all polio transmission is possible by the end of this year. The full official, global eradication of polio could be declared by the end of this decade.