Bruce Aylward: How we’ll stop polio for good

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Date/Time
Date(s) - Wednesday, March 13, 2013
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Location
St. Rose Business Center

Bruce Aylward: How we'll stop polio for good

polio-endted_logoPolio is almost completely eradicated. But as Bruce Aylward says: Almost isn’t good enough with a disease this terrifying. Aylward lays out the plan to continue the scientific miracle that ended polio in most of the world — and to snuff it out everywhere, forever.

Bruce Aylward is a Canadian physician and epidemiologist. Since June 1998, he’s been working with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, directing the effort since February 2006. During the course of his medical training, Dr. Aylward traveled and worked in countries throughout South America, Africa and Asia. Upon joining the World Health Organization in 1992, Dr Aylward worked as a Medical Officer with the Expanded Programme on Immunization, primarily in the areas of measles, neonatal tetanus and hepatitis vaccination, and injection safety. From 1992 to 1997, he worked with national immunization programmes at the field level in the Middle East, Western Pacific, Europe, North Africa and central and southeast Asia.

Aylward has overseen and managed the scale-up of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative between 1997 and 2008, during which time the program expanded to operate in every country of the world, the annual global budget increased to $700 million a year, polio-funded staff deployed by WHO grew to over 3,500 people worldwide, and new monovalent oral poliovirus vaccines were developed for the programme.

He says: “It’s been estimated that our investment in smallpox eradication pays off every 26 days.”

“Bruce Aylward is making us all root for a polio-free world.”

Quotes by Bruce Aylward
“We’re not trying to control polio. We’re not trying to get it down to just a few cases, because this disease is like a root fire; it can explode again if you don’t snuff it out completely. What we’re looking for is a permanent solution.”

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