A World Health Organization, WHO, official said that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is at the forefront of global efforts to eradicate polio.
Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhary, WHO Middle East Regional Director, said that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s drive to ensure that all children in remote areas have access to vaccines has played a key role in the global polio eradication efforts.
He pointed to the key role of governments and global partners in the anti-polio efforts, as their financial and moral assistance has contributed to the facilitation of the field vaccination campaigns and the success of their missions in the affected areas.
Dr. Al Mandhary said that the WHO managed to gradually eradicate the disease in the region with the exception of some pockets in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in cooperation with the respective national governments and its partners.
He stated that since 1988, when the WHO member countries agreed for the first time to eradicate poliomyelitis, the world has witnessed enormous efforts and allocated significant funds to achieve the global mission of totally eradicating the disease.
He pointed out that the Global Polio Response Team includes government leaders, donors, religious leaders, strategic planning experts, communication experts and negotiators, as well as a group of health experts and employees from the community health sector.
Dr. Al Mandhary stressed the importance of moving forward in combatting the disease despite the challenges and difficulties, praising the outcome of reducing polio cases to 20 in the world in 2017.
He also warned against being satisfied with the achieved outcome and ceasing the follow-up of the mission before reaching zero-infection phase, because one case could contribute to the spread of the disease again.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs