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 three countries where transmission of the disease continues. Since 2014, teams of UAE health workers have helped administer over 468 million vaccines to more than 86 million children in remote areas across Pakistan. In August 2020, the Emirates Polio Campaign conducted the world's first polio vaccination campaign since the outbreak of COVID-19.
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. In June 2017, the UAE committed $30 million to the Gates Foundation to support polio eradication worldwide. To date, the UAE has pledged $327 million to fighting polio 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.