190608 uae polio pakistan
Image Credit: WAM

Islamabad: The government of the United Arab Emirates is determined to help Pakistan eradicate polio by 2022 through its Emirates Polio Campaign, a top Emirati diplomat said.

Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, the UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, made this statement on Friday as the Pakistani Prime Minister was preparing to kick off a new vaccination campaign.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic. As of 29th October, the number of wild polio virus cases stood at 77 in Pakistan and at 19 in Afghanistan.

The new anti-polio campaign launched by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will start field operations across the country from 16th December. The UAE is a partner in the campaign.

The polio eradication programme is implemented through the UAE-Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAEPAP.

"The UAE has played a major role in eradicating polio by actively contributing to the financing and support of critical vaccination campaigns," ambassador Al Zaabi told Arab News in an interview on Friday.

He said around 419 million drops of polio vaccines had been administered in Pakistan from 2014 until September 2019.

The UAEPAP programme started in 2010, covering sectors such as education, infrastructure, safe drinking water, healthcare and polio eradication.