Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had a telephone conversation on June 10, 2020.
The call was in the backdrop of polio eradication drive in Pakistan. Mr. Gates appreciated Pakistan Army's help in enabling the campaign through provision of security, monitoring and bridging of capacity gaps. COAS said, “It's a national duty and Army played a part in the significant initiatives undertaken by the Government of Pakistan and healthcare departments of the provinces. The healthcare workers who played the most important part in polio drive also acted as the frontline defence against COVID-19.” He further elaborated that despite COVID-19, Pakistan Army in support of the government’s efforts has already made preparations to restart anti-polio campaign in the coming weeks.
They discussed the challenges in the face of current and future pandemic threats and efforts to enhance the resilience of population through education, flexible healthcare management and use of technology. COAS thanked Bill Gates for his foundation's efforts towards the noble cause and said that every initiative aimed at betterment of Pakistan and its people will be fully supported and appreciated.
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