Dr Senjuti Saha, a microbiologist working as a scientist at the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh, has been appointed to the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB) of the World Health Organization as a member.
This is the first time a Bangladeshi has been appointed to this position to serve in the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board, created by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative of the WHO, according to a statement of CHRF today.
Dr Saha, along with other members of the board, will advise the WHO at Director-General level on progress of the polio transition process, addressing how countries around the world will sustain the public health infrastructure -- particularly essential immunisation, wider communicable disease surveillance, and emergency response once polio money, which has been used for years or decades to pay for non-polio activity, is withdrawn.
WHO is implementing a plan for polio transition approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2018.
The TIMB board is chaired by Sir Liam Donaldson, former chief medical officer for England, and a professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
A total of three board members have been appointed this year. The two other board members are: Prof Sheila Leatherman, a Global Health Policy expert at the Gillings School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina, USA; and Dr Lola Dare, a community physician, epidemiologist, global health practitioner, development consultant, social entrepreneur, and health advocate in Nigeria.
"I feel honored to have been appointed to serve on the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB), created by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to monitor and guide the process of polio transition planning in countries around the world," Dr Saha wrote in a Facebook post.
"I will do my best to bring our and other LMIC's [low and middle-income countries] perspectives to the table," she added.
Dr Senjuti Saha's work is grounded in advancing the cause of health and research equity, based on her vision that everyone across the world should have equal access to the practice and benefits of science.
Earlier in May this year, Dr Senjuti Saha led a team of three scientists to successfully complete the genome sequencing of the SARS Cov-2 virus in Bangladesh.