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Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has thanked Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for his commitment towards eradicating polio.
The Microsoft founder said it was only with the “strong commitment of partners like Mohamed bin Zayed and the dedication on the front line” that polio will be eradicated.
“We recognise progress and acknowledge that the fight continues,” he said.
World Polio Day was marked on Sunday. Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Gates have pledged and raised millions of dollars to tackle diseases including polio and neglected tropical diseases.
Such illnesses, which have long been cured in the developed world, kill and maim thousands of people in developing countries every year.
This week, Sheikh Mohamed reaffirmed his commitment to tackling such diseases.
“Thanks to the dedication of many, including frontline health workers, remarkable progress has been made in the global effort to end polio,” Sheikh Mohamed said on Sunday.
“Today on #WorldPolioDay, together with our partners, we reaffirm our commitment to working towards a safer, healthier future free from polio.”
The UAE has a continuing mission in Pakistan to inoculate thousands of people against polio every year. More than 100 million children have received the oral dose that provides immunity against the crippling disease.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, praised the work of the UAE vaccination campaign in Pakistan.
In a phone call with the campaign’s team, Sheikh Abdullah said that “due to the commitment and courage of the UAE Polio Vaccination Campaign, we are now closer than ever before to achieving the objective of having a world free from polio”.
More than 583 million doses of polio vaccines were administered from 2014 to the end of September this year as part of the UAE campaign.
Since 2011, Sheikh Mohamed has donated $250 million to humanitarian and charity efforts aimed at providing vaccines and funding polio eradication campaigns.