Learn how India became polio-free

Dr. Hamid Jafari

Dr. Hamid Jafari

You’ll have a chance to hear from one of the masterminds behind India’s successful drive to become polio-free during the Rotary convention in São Paulo, 6-9 June. Dr. Hamid Jafari will deliver the keynote speech of the Monday, 8 June, plenary session. As a medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working with the World Health Organization, Jafari led the polio eradication project in India from 2007 to 2012. India’s polio cases dropped from hundreds each year when he took the job to zero in 2011. India was officially declared polio-free in 2014 after a three-year certification period.

Jafari directed a staff of more than 2,000 and oversaw delivery of about a billion doses of polio vaccine to 172 million young children each year. His innovation and technical expertise have been credited with overcoming substantial barriers to eradication in India, including difficulties in getting the vaccine to migrant families and those living in hard-to-reach and high-risk areas. Jafari is now director of Global Polio Operations and Research at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva.

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