Bill Gates conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan honour for efforts to eradicate polio

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Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has been conferred with Hilal-e-Pakistan, the second highest civilian honour in the country, for his efforts to help eradicate polio in Pakistan, Samaa TV reported.

Gates is on a day-long visit to Pakistan and has met with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also visited the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) that oversees efforts to curb Covid-19.

A statement from the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday that this is Gate’s first-ever visit to Pakistan.

The Pak premier’s house hosted a luncheon in honour of the tech billionaire, who was briefed on Pakistan’s efforts about polio eradication and Covid response.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been a major contributor in worldwide polio eradication through Gavi, the vaccine alliance, the report said.

Gates also met Planning and Development Minister and NCOC head Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan.

In a statement, the NCOC said the philanthropist and his delegation attended the forum’s morning session.

“He was informed about the NCOC’s role and methodology, its achievements since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the coronavirus situation in Pakistan as well as the non-pharmaceutical interventions by the forum to control the spread of the disease,” it added.

The delegation was briefed about genome sequencing being carried out in Pakistan and coronavirus variants detected so far.

According to the statement, Gates appreciated Pakistan’s success against Covid-19 despite resource constraints and the initiatives and measures for public health safety.

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