Saturday, February 4, 2023

Pakistan awards Hilal-e-Pakistan to Bill Gates for public health services

Bill Gates honored with top award in recognition of his work to alleviate poverty and diseases

Pakistan awarded Bill Gates its second-highest civilian honor on Thursday in recognition of his work to alleviate poverty and diseases like polio and tuberculosis.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist was given the prestigious Hilal-e-Pakistan award by President Arif Alvi in a televised ceremony.

Bill Gates is on a daylong visit to the capital, Islamabad, where he met President Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and other officials.

He visited the COVID-19 National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) and met NCOC chief Minister Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan. He also Senator Sania Nishtar, special assistant on poverty alleviation and social safety to Prime Minister Khan, to discuss progress on Pakistan’s flagship poverty alleviation program, Ehsaas.

Bill Gates discussed the country’s progress in the effort to stop poliovirus transmission with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and other leaders in Islamabad.

“Pakistan’s commitment to ending polio is inspiring,” Gates said in a statement released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Government leaders, health workers, and parents are working tirelessly to ensure this disease never paralyzes a child again. This is the final, and hardest, phase of the eradication effort, but by keeping up the momentum and staying vigilant, Pakistan has an opportunity to make history by ending polio for good,” Gates said.

Polio eradication is a top priority for our government,” said Prime Minister Khan. “We are working at all levels to ensure that every child is protected with the polio vaccine and are grateful for the continued partnership and support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and our other polio partners. We have a clear plan to stop this virus, and I am committed to seeing it implemented in full so that Pakistan can help secure a polio-free world.”

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