Bruce Aylward

Bruce Aylward is a Canadian physician and epidemiologist who heads the polio eradication programme at WHO, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Why you should listen

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."

What others say

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

Bruce Aylward’s TED talk

Quotes from 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.
Bruce Aylward
TED2011 • 446K views May 2011
Inspiring, Informative