Billionaire club seeks Zim partnership in polio fight 

24 Aug, 2022 - 19:08 0 Views
Billionaire club seeks Zim partnership in polio fight  Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga (left) with Dr Chris Elias, the Polio Oversight Board chair and president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Lome, Togo, today.

The Herald

Mukudzei Chingwere in LOMÉ, Togo 

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has this afternoon met with executives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the later offering to partner and assist Zimbabwe in its response to the polio outbreak that the world has had to grapple with.

Several countries in the SADC region, among them Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, have of late experienced a surge in polio cases.

Although Zimbabwe has not been affected as yet, Government is taking a proactive role – just as it did with Covid-19, in a bid to protect the citizenry.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a non-profit making organisation that among other issues strives to help disadvantaged people lead healthy and productive lives.

The foundation has been at the forefront of fighting global public health challenges and is said to have spent more than US$2 billion on the global Covid-19 response.

Through its polio oversight board chair and president, Dr Chris Elias, the foundation has expressed its willingness to partner Zimbabwe in its response to the emerging threat of Polio.

Speaking after his meeting with the foundation on the sidelines of the ongoing 72nd session of the World Health Organisation regional committee for Africa, VP Chiwenga said the foundation offered assistance to Zimbabwe’s fight against polio and measles.

“I had a meeting with members of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who are also attending the meeting here in Lomé,” said the VP.

“They were offering assistance for the polio and measles (programmes) and we were very clear to them that we would prefer, on the polio side, that we get the OPV, not the Novel.

“As you are quite aware that we said we are open (for business), and His Excellency the President has made it very clear that we are open to everyone, we have no enemy. It was quite interesting that they came to offer this on their own,” he said.

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