RAWALPINDI: Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Bill Gates appreciated Pakistan Army’s role in the country’s anti-polio campaign while speaking to General Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa, the military’s media wing said Wednesday.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a statement, said: “The call was in the backdrop of polio eradication drive in Pakistan. Gates appreciated the Pakistan Army’s help in enabling the campaign through the provision of security, monitoring, and bridging of capacity gaps.”
While responding to the appreciation, the COAS said that it was a national duty and the army played a part in the “significant initiatives undertaken by the Pakistani government”.
“The healthcare workers who played the most important part in polio drive also acted as the frontline defence against COVID-19,” he said, adding: “Despite COVID-19, Pakistan Army in support of [government’s] efforts has already made preparations to restart anti-polio campaign in coming weeks.”
According to ISPR, Gates and Bajwa discussed the challenges that have surfaced in the wake of coronavirus and future pandemic threats and efforts to enhance the resilience of population through education, flexible healthcare management, and the use of technology.
“COAS thanked Bill Gates for his foundation’s efforts towards the noble cause and said that every initiative aimed at [the] betterment of Pakistan and its people will be fully supported and appreciated,” the statement added.