On August 13, the Rotary Club of Natick invited Dr. Hamid Jafri, Director of Polio Operations and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, to speak to its members regarding the current status of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The GPEI is a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.
Dr. Jafri, a recipient of the Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow recognition for his substantial contribution to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, discussed key points in the initiatives progress and advised that polio remains endemic in only three countries- Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. The final push to end polio is the largest and most complex disease eradication effort in history. “We know that challenges will arise on the road to polio eradication. So long as the world stays fully committed to traveling down the road, I know we’ll be successful,” says Dr. Jafri. The GPEI is carrying out the Polio Endgame and Eradication Strategic Plan, which is a six-year program to achieve a polio-free world by 2018.
Dr. Hamid Jafri is the brother of Mahmud Jafri, Natick Rotary Club member and CEO of Dover Rug & Home in Natick, MA.
For more information or to donate to this initiative, visit http://www.endpolio.org/#donate.