Innovative Partnerships to End Polio
The UAE is a committed leader in the effort to eradicate polio, working with partners around the world to raise awareness and help eliminate this crippling disease. Since 2011, the UAE has worked in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote public health by supporting the distribution of vaccines. As part of this partnership, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Gates Foundation, hosted the first Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2013.
The UAE has focused its polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, one of two countries where the disease remains endemic. Between 2014 and May 2015, teams of UAE health workers helped administer 86.6 million vaccines to more than 20 million children in remote areas across Pakistan. In 2014, the UAE’s Image Nation Abu Dhabi released a documentary, “Every Last Child,” to illustrate the impact that polio has had on Pakistan and highlight the efforts of those striving to eliminate the disease. The UAE also contributed to vaccination efforts in Syria in response to a 2013 polio outbreak that has since been contained.
Through partnerships with USAID and nongovernmental organizations, the UAE is helping advance global public health. To date, the UAE has pledged $120 million to support polio eradication efforts worldwide and is actively working to raise international awareness. As a result of the UAE’s collaboration with partners like the Gates Foundation, a polio-free world is within reach.