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02 Jul 2014 09:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is supporting a campaign to raise awareness of the polio virus and vaccination efforts in the Pakistani community. 

Through a short inflight video, to be shown prior to arrival on all Etihad Airways’ flights into Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi, the campaign aims to make Pakistanis aware of the potential risk of the polio virus for them and their families. Pakistan is one of the few countries where the disease remains endemic. 

The inflight program, “Leap of Faith”, will raise awareness of this crippling and potentially fatal disease to the many thousands of Pakistani workers returning home or visiting their families. 

The vaccination campaign, which aims to reach over 3.5 million children in Pakistan, was launched by the UAE Pakistan Assistance Program under the directive of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and as part of an initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. 

This comes after His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan pledged a donation of AED440 million in April 2014, to support global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018. 

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “By showing this engaging story onboard our flights, Etihad Airways is supporting the efforts of the UAE in helping to eradicate polio in Pakistan.” 

Asif Durrani, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, said “With approximately 1.25 million expatriate Pakistanis in the UAE, this is a perfect opportunity to educate our people during their journey home and ultimately help in the overall eradication of this terrible disease in our country.” 

The inflight program produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, will be aired on all Etihad Airways’ flights to Pakistan for July and August 2014. The airline currently operates 37 flights per week between Abu Dhabi and the Pakistani cities of Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi.

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