SEATTLE and ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 26, 2011
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed
Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme
Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced today they are
working together to provide life-saving vaccinations to children in
Afghanistan and Pakistan. The partnership commits a total of
$100 million – $50 million from each partner – for the
purchase and delivery of vital vaccines that will save Afghan and
Pakistani children and prevent disease for a lifetime.
“Like all children, the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan
deserve the quality of health and opportunities that childhood
immunization can provide. The personal, community, national
and international benefits that will result from a generation
growing up protected from preventable diseases have the potential
to resonate for generations to come,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin
Children in Afghanistan and Pakistan are especially vulnerable
to preventable diseases, such as polio and pneumonia.
Challenges in reaching them include conflict in the region,
unequal health services and immunization levels among provinces
within each country and, in the case of Pakistan, a slow recovery
from last year’s devastating floods.
“Vaccines protect children from many life-threatening childhood
diseases, providing the best way to give a child a healthy start to
life,” said Mr. Gates. “This partnership is a powerful example
of how collaboration by the global community can help build a
healthier, more stable future for Afghan and Pakistani children,
their families and communities.”
One in four children in Afghanistan does not survive to see his
or her fifth birthday, making infant and under-five mortality rates
in that country among the world’s highest.
Of the total funds, two-thirds will be give