The Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Bill Gates, stated that the foundation would work with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to develop capacities for creating new vaccines to prevent future pandemics. In a speech at the first-ever World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting hosted in Riyadh, following the announcement of an initiative to eradicate polio between Saudi Arabia and his foundation.

Gates emphasized that eradicating polio was crucial not only to save lives and prevent them from living with disability and suffering but also to envision a world free of diseases. “We began the polio eradication initiative in the 1980s, and the number of polio cases has declined significantly, we are close to eradicating this disease, which once threatened humanity,” Gates said He added that this success was not the anticipated success, the disease’s infection rate must reach zero, as this is the desired goal. He also thanked Saudi Arabia, where this new commitment would ensure the provision of vaccines for measles and other diseases to more than 30 million children, he described the investment as “the future of children wherever they are in the world and a strengthening of health systems at the same time.” He concluded his speech by mentioning he was proud to partner with Saudi Arabia, as this was not only collaborating to eradicate polio but also to build capabilities to develop new vaccines, prevent crises, and protect the world from future pandemics. (KUNA)

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