August 16, 2020
RAWALPINDI - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke on telephone and discussed Pakistan’s COVID-19 response and resumption of polio campaign. According to a press release issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate, Mr Gates conveyed appreciation for Pakistan Army for supporting national polio drive, ensuring proper reach and coverage. The COAS said it was a national cause and national effort for a polio-free Pakistan and credit goes to the grassroots workers including mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and healthcare representatives.
Both also discussed the safe start and efforts needed to effectively conduct polio campaign under COVID environment. Mr Gates also appreciated Pakistan’s success against COVID-19 despite resource constraints. The COAS attributed the success to a true national response, executed through the mechanism of NCOC which allowed optimisation of resources. Mr Gates reiterated the Gates Foundation’s ongoing commitment ‘to fight pandemics’ around the world, and to support Pakistan in its goals of ending polio and improving health for every child.