Positive results indicate we are closer than ever to reaching the final mile in eliminating polio The UAE is a leading light in the fight to eliminate preventable deadly diseases, writes Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli

Reaching the Last Mile Global Health Forum will take place on Wednesday under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. It will focus on the elimination of preventable deadly diseases that have devastating effects on public health and hinder the prospects of the world’s poorest people. The forum endeavours to support international initiatives in public health and disease control and to highlight humanitarian efforts to eliminate infectious diseases.

The hosting of this forum will underscore the role played by the UAE. That role is an extension of the humanitarian approach of the late Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the country. The presence of a select group of government officials, heads of international development organisations and philanthropic organisations, as well as global health experts, represents evidence and recognition of the importance of the humanitarian role played by the UAE in its efforts to protect human health from deadly, infectious diseases.

The generous support of the UAE over four decades has culminated in world-class humanitarian achievements and international recognition, ranking top aid donor state in official development aid in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

One of the most important areas of assistance provided by the UAE is to health care. Many countries have benefited from the construction of hospitals, clinics, laboratories and nursing institutes, the provision of medical equipment, the purchase of medicines and vaccines, and funding for the treatment of sick and disabled persons. This is in addition to providing support with field hospitals and specialised medical teams to help and relieve disaster affected areas and crisis emergency. Furthermore, the UAE provides support and cooperation to various UN organisations, international foundations and humanitarian and philanthropic programmes, by offering financial contributions and operational expertise. 

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