-- A UAE newspaper has said that the UAE-Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAE-PAP, launched under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to strengthen the polio prevention programmes in Pakistan certainly stands out as a shining example of solidarity and co-operation in humanitarian fields.

In an editorial on Monday, The Gulf Today said, "Polio � a debilitating disease which mainly affects young children � is caused by a virus that is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (such as contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis."

The paper quoted Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, as saying that the overwhelming success of the Emirati anti-polio campaign is yet another proof of the country's significant contribution to the global efforts aimed at overcoming development challenges.

It should be noted that the UAE provided over 254.4 million units of polio vaccine to more than 43 million Pakistani children between 2014 and 2017, through its anti-polio drive in the country.

The drive covers various regions of Pakistan. The strength of the campaign could be gauged by the fact that more than 87,000 workers, including doctors and nurses, and more than 25,000 members of safety and security, management and co-ordination teams take part in it.

In the first nine months of 2017 alone, the campaign succeeded in providing as much as 61,670,713 doses of the vaccine.

Since 2011, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has donated $167 million to support global efforts to eradicate poliomyelitis, focusing particularly on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The paper quoted the Founding Father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as saying, "We believe that the benefit of the fortune granted to us by God should spread to cover our brothers and friends."

"The UAE's polio eradication initiative is a perfect example of the fact that when it comes to compassion and philanthropy, the UAE knows no borders," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Source: Emirates News Agency