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Raymond Bruce Aylward

Pages >> Biographical Notes | Address to Convocation | Oration

{Raymond Bruce Aylward}

Dr. Bruce Aylward’s work as the co-ordinator of the Global Polio Eradication Program of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been vital in virtually eliminating polio from the planet. The model of polio vaccination that he helped to develop is now being adapted by health agencies to deliver other forms of preventative medicine to remote and disadvantaged areas around the globe.

A native of St. John’s, Dr. Aylward was educated at Memorial University where he received his MD in 1985. He credits Dr. Ian Bowmer, former dean of the Faculty of Medicine, with getting him interested in infectious diseases. After graduation, Dr. Aylward moved to University of British Columbia to study internal medicine and later received a diploma in tropical medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a master’s in public health at John Hopkins University.

He began work with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992 as a medical officer for the agency’s immunization program and went on to join the Polio Eradication Initiative, becoming the co-ordinator for the program in 1998. In this position he has done a great deal to ensure the achievement of WHO’s goal of global eradication of the disease, which has seen the number of cases drop from 360,000 in 125 countries in 1988, to 3,000 in 2000, to fewer than 700 in early 2003.

Recognized by the Globe and Mail and the Dominion Institute as one of Canada’s Nation Builders of 2002, Dr. Aylward was the first winner of the Memorial University Alumni Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in 2002.

Pages >> Biographical Notes | Address to Convocation | Oration

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