Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Bill Gates held a telephone conversation and exchanged views on the health situation including the complete eradication of polio from Pakistan, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

During the telephonic conversation, Bill Gates lauded the Pakistan army’s efforts in the polio eradication drive across the country, said the military's media wing.

“Bill Gates also appreciated Pakistan army’s role in anti-polio drive coverage through community leaders,” read the statement.

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa appreciated the efforts of Bill Gates and his foundation in eradicating polio from the country and assured him of full cooperation in making Pakistan a polio-free state, said ISPR.

Samples reveal presence of poliovirus in 7 cities

Earlier, the federal health authorities confirmed the presence of the poliovirus in seven cities following the collection of environmental samples from various cities.

According to health officials, the poliovirus has been detected in four Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cities. Sewage samples from Peshawar, Bannu, Nowshera, and Swat were collected for testing.

Polio has also been found in sewage samples from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The revelation comes after Pakistan confirmed the detection of 13 polio cases in North Waziristan and one in Laki Marwat in 2022.