Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB)
This page and its sub-pages are maintained by the Transition Independent Monitoring Board and reflect the views of that body alone.
As we near the end of the polio eradication initiative, there is a need to plan for the ramp-down and closure of the GPEI. During nearly three decades of operations, the GPEI has mobilized and trained millions of volunteers, social mobilizers, and health workers; accessed households untouched by other health initiatives; mapped and brought health interventions to chronically neglected communities and areas of conflict; and established a standardized, real-time global surveillance and response capacity, and a global laboratory network of accredited labs and personnel.
Polio transition planning aims to:
- Ensure that functions needed to maintain a polio-free world after eradication are mainstreamed into ongoing public health programs
- Ensure that the knowledge generated and lessons learned from polio eradication activities are documented and shared with other health initiatives
- Support, where feasible, desirable and appropriate, transition capabilities and processes to assist other health priorities and ensure sustainability of the experience of the GPEI program.
Terms of reference
The Polio Transition IMB (TIMB) shall independently monitor and guide the process of transition planning, assessing the quality, sufficiency and impact of work being undertaken to achieve transition planning aims stated in the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-18.
The Polio Transition IMB is established at the request of the Polio Oversight Board .
The first formal meeting of the TIMB will take place in early 2017, and subsequent meetings every six months until the end of 2019.
The eleven members of the Polio Transition IMB members are:
Professor Sir Liam Donaldson is recognised as an international champion of public health and patient safety. He was the foundation chair of the World Health Organisation’s World Alliance for Patient Safety, launched in 2004. He is a past vice-chairman of the World Health Organisation Executive Board. He is now the World Health Organisation’s Envoy for Patient Safety, Chairman of the Independent Monitoring for the Global Polio Eradication Programme, as well as Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Board of this Programme. In the UK, he is Professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cardiff University, Associate Fellow in the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, and Chancellor of Newcastle University.
Prior to this appointment Sir Liam was the 15th Chief Medical Officer for England, and the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Adviser, from 1998-2010. During his time in this historic post (established in 1855) he held critical responsibilities across the whole field of public health and health care. As the United Kingdom’s chief adviser on health issues, he advised the Secretary of State for Health, the Prime Minister and other government ministers. He has produced landmark reports which have set health policy and legislation in fields such as stem cell research, clinical governance, quality and safety of health care, infectious disease control, patient empowerment, poor clinical performance, smoke free public places, medical regulation, and organ and tissue retention. He has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is author of a standard textbook of public health that has been in continuous print for 30 years and co-author of the history of the Chief Medical Officers of England. He has made many media appearances as part of his professional roles.
Sir Liam initially trained as a surgeon in Birmingham and went on to hold teaching and research posts at the University of Leicester. In 1986, he was appointed Regional Medical Officer and Regional Director of Public Health for the Northern Regional Health Authority.
Sir Liam has received many public honours: 12 honorary doctorates from British universities, eight fellowships from medical royal colleges and faculties, and the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He was the Queen’s Honorary Physician between 1996 and 1999. He was knighted in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List.
Jon Kim Andrus, MD is Executive Vice President & Director of Vaccine Advocacy and Education Sabin Vaccine Institute. Dr Andrus joined the Sabin Vaccine Institute in October 2014 where he serves as Executive Vice President and Director of the Vaccine Advocacy and Education program. Previously, Dr. Andrus served as deputy director at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from October 2009 to October 2014, where among several duties he oversaw departments of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief; Knowledge Management and Communication; External Relations and Partnerships; Planning and Resource Coordination; as well as the work of the Ethics Office and Ombudsman. Prior to 2009, he was the lead technical advisor for PAHO’s immunization program, providing oversight and guidance for PAHO’s technical cooperation to member countries. Dr. Andrus holds faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
He began his global health career as a Peace Corps volunteer, serving as a district medical officer in Malawi and has since held positions in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Global Immunization Division, as head of the Vaccinology and Immunization Program at the Institute for Global Health at the Universities of California at San Francisco and Berkeley, and as director and professor of the Global Health MPH Program at GWU.
Currently Dr Andrus is the co-Chair of the Global Polio Partners Group and serves on numerous WHO advisory committees, including PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, and SEARO’s Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination. Dr. Andrus has published more than 100 scientific peer-reviewed papers on topics covering disease eradication, the introduction of new vaccines and primary care. He has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Transformational Leadership Award of the University of California, the 2011 Global Leadership Award of the Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts, and the 2000 Distinguished Service Medal—the highest award of the United States Public Health Service—for his leadership in working to eradicate polio in Southeast Asia.
He has received awards for his leadership in the eradication of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, as well as the introduction of new vaccines in developing countries. Dr Andrus holds a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University, obtained a medical degree from the University of California, Davis and completed his residencies in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and preventive medicine at the CDC.
Dr Salah Al Awaidy is a Communicable Disease Adviser to the office of the Undersecretary of Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Oman. He currently advises on communicable disease surveillance, eradication and elimination of communicable diseases of public health importance, Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), vaccine supply chain system and International Health Regulations (IHR). D. Al Awaidy is a medical doctor, and holds a Masters in Epidemiology.
He headed the Communicable Disease Epidemiological Surveillance section, MoH, Oman between 1996 and 1997. From 1997 to 2012, Dr. Al Awaidy held the post of Director of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control MoH, Oman. During this period, he was assigned as EPI National Program Manager, National focal point for IHR, National Polio program manager/focal point, National member and secretariat of the Polio Certification and Acute Flaccid Paralysis Expert Committies.
Dr Al Awaidy has been involved in international committees including serving as Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Poliomyelitis Eradication in Afghanistan, (2011-12) where he represented the group at Polio IMB meetings several times. He has been a member of the TAG on Poliomyelitis Eradication in Pakistan & Afghanistan, from 2013 to date. Dr. Al Awaidy is also currently serving as a member of the IHR (2005) Roster of Experts: IHR-wild Polio Eradication, since 2014. He works closely with the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and serves as a member of the IHR Emergency Committee on Polio and MERS-CoV. He has also carried out many missions for EMRO involving review of National EPI programs; AFP surveillance systems and he also headed the wild poliovirus outbreak investigation team (Yemen).
Dr Al Awaidy has been a member of several of the national professional committees namely: member and secretary of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), zoonotic committee from 1997 to August 2011 and member of the national NITAG until 2015. On the international arena, Dr Al Awaidy has also represented the MoH in many regional meetings and was part of a number of important global advisory groups namely, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), WHO Geneva (2005-2007); Strategic Advisor Group on Vaccine and Store Management Training Courses (2005-2008), WHO Geneva; Strategic TB Advisory Board (STAG) 2007-2011 and AIDS Regional Advisory Group (ARAG), EMRO since 2005; and a member of the GAVI Independent Review Committee (IRC) from 2014 to date.
Dr Al Awaidy played a pivotal role in the national preparedness, management and control of infectious diseases including the eradication of Polio, in Oman and regionally. Under his leadership, Oman achieved a Polio free status.
Dr Mohamed Abdi Jama is a public health professional with specific interest in institutional reforms, health policies and service delivery systems that can improve health outcomes for the disadvantaged, mothers and children. He advises international agencies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on policies and strategies to promote health and good management practices.
Dr Jama has had a distinguished career in global health and academia at the national and international level, during which time he worked closely with national governments, international agencies, NGOs, philanthropies, foundations and teaching institutions over a period of 3 decades. He worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1988 to 2014 in various technical and managerial positions at Country, Regional and Global levels, including its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
He started his international career as a Project Officer of Primary Health Care Development, and served later in a number of technical and management positions including as a Lead Medical Officer on health systems development, WHO Country Representative in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Regional Advisor on programme planning and evaluation. He was also the Assistant Regional Director and later Deputy Regional Director of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization (EMRO) in Cairo, Egypt. From 2009 to 2014, Dr Jama served as Assistant Director General leading the General Management Cluster of WHO until 2014. He has served the organization in a number of countries in Africa, South East Asia, the Middle East, and in Europe. Prior to joining WHO, Dr Jama served in his home country of Somalia in different capacities starting as a medical officer in a refugee camp in Gedo Region, and later as a pediatrician, Deputy Director and Head of the Pediatric Department of Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. As a faculty member, he lectured in pediatrics at the faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Somali National University in Mogadishu.
Dr Jama is a physician with a postgraduate degree in Pediatrics and extensive training in public health in Italy and USA. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.
Dr Jeffrey P. Koplan is Vice President for Global Health at Emory University where he, established and served as Director of the Emory Global Health Institute from 2006-2013. A former Director (1998-2002) and 26-year veteran of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr Koplan began his public health career in the early 1970s as a member of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He has played a key role in a variety of domestic and global public health issues, from infectious diseases such as smallpox, SARS, polio and HIV/AIDS, environmental issues such as the Bhopal chemical disaster, to the health tolls of tobacco, obesity, and chronic diseases.
His work has included extensive international assignments in Bangladesh, India, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as US-China bilateral projects, World Bank missions, and World Health Organization consultations. From 1993 to 1998, he was President of the Prudential Center for Health Care Research.
Dr Koplan is a Master of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), where he chaired the Committee for Prevention of Childhood Obesity from 2003 to 2009. He is a trustee of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente – Georgia, The China Medical Board, and former trustee of Yale University. He chairs the Visiting Committee for the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He serves on the Independent Monitoring Board for the Eradication of Polio. Dr Koplan is a co-founder and former President of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI). Dr Koplan is also the principal investigator of the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network (CHAMPS), a major program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Koplan is author of more than 240 scientific papers.
Yvonne A. Maldonado, MD is a Professor at the Departments of Pediatrics and of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University School of Medicine, USA. Dr Maldonado is also Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Diversity. Dr Maldonado’s research interests in the epidemiology and prevention of pediatric infections have led to a career in prevention and treatment of perinatal HIV infection, and viral vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, polio, and rotavirus.
Dr Maldonado has conducted a number of National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gates Foundation, and World Health Organization (WHO) – funded domestic and international studies. These have included investigations of the host and viral factors affecting the immunogenicity of oral poliovirus vaccine among Mayan infants living in southern Mexico and among HIV-infected infants living in Zimababwe; pediatric measles and rotavirus vaccine studies among children living in India, Mexico and the United States; and prevention and treatment of perinatal HIV infection in the US, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Maldonado has over 150 peer-reviewed publications.
She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Infectious Disease Society of America, a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society and the American Public Health Association. She has been a member of the US National Vaccine Advisory Committee and is Vice-Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases.
Dr Maldonado attended Stanford University School of Medicine, completed a residency program at the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins and received postgraduate training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University. Dr Maldonado also completed training as an EIS (Epidemiologic Intelligence Surveillance Officer) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr Bjorn Melgaard is a medical doctor and public health expert. He has worked for more than 30 years in international health in a number of developing countries and for the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Melgaard’s international health experience also includes working with Danida in Kenya, Tanzania and Bhutan. From 1995 to 2006, Dr Melgaard worked for WHO in various capacities during which he spent 6 years working in the immunization field and 5 years working in public health management. From 1995 to 1998, Dr Melgaard was Chief of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), and from 1998 to 2001, he was Director of WHO’s Immunization and Vaccine Department. Dr Melgaard also served as the WHO Representative to Thailand from 2001 to 2003. Later, Dr Melgaard was Director of Programme Management at WHO Regional Office for South East Asia. Dr Melgaard retired from WHO in 2006 and now works as freelance consultant in health policy, planning and management areas.
His latest assignments include the development of WHO’s Vision on Vaccines and Immunization to 2030 and the reorganization of the Polio Department in WHO, Headquarters.
Ms Anne S. Mtonga is a Zambia Registered Nurse (ZRN), Zambia Registered Midwife (ZRM), EPI Consultant, Lecturer, National Surveillance Officer and Program Manager with a Masters’ degree in Nursing obtained from Hampton University, Virginia, USA.
Ms Mtonga has over 10 years of experience in strategic planning, designing, implementing and evaluating child health programs, especially in the polio eradication initiative of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). Ms Mtonga joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1998 as a National Surveillance Officer and worked with the Zambian Ministry of Health to establish disease surveillance for vaccine preventable diseases under the polio eradication program initiative (PEI). In this role, she was responsible for surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases, monitoring, and strengthening of routine immunisation services for under-five children and women of childbearing age. While working for WHO, Ms Mtonga conducted capacity building for AFP surveillance and Integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) to MOH staff and other staff under her jurisdiction.
Between 2010 and 2013, Ms. Mtonga has served as a WHO-EPI consultant in various countries within the African Region, including Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia. She has also served as the EPI focal person in Swaziland and Nigeria at Zonal level. In Nigeria, Ms Mtonga was responsible for overseeing the work of WHO in 5 states of South East Nigeria Zone for 3 years and 6 states of North Central Zone for two and half years where she led teams of Surveillance and Immunisation Professional officers to attain the goals of the Polio Eradication Initiative.
Prior to joining WHO, she had worked in Government rising from the post of Zambia Registered Nurse to Deputy Chief Nursing Officer-Administration (DCNOA) in the Ministry of Health, Zambia. As a Lecturer, Ms Mtonga has taught classes for Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree and Nursing Diploma students in various post basic schools of nursing including the University of Zambia School of Medicine’s Post Basic Nursing Department (PBN), the Lusaka Apex Medical University (LAMU), and the Lusaka Theatre School of Nursing. Under the auspices of WHO, Ms Mtonga has provided technical support to the Ethiopia Ministry of Health as a Lecturer in the BSc Nursing Program at Jimma Institute of Health Sciences. Ms Mtonga retired from active service as a National Surveillance Officer (NSO) with WHO Zambia in February 2016.
Dr Mirta Roses Periago is an internationally recognized physician and epidemiologist, with more than 40 years’ experience in the practice of public health, international technical cooperation, and the development of health programs throughout the Americas.
Dr Roses Periago has strong skills in the management of multicultural teams, the setting up of networks, use of social media and communication, project management and resource mobilization, as well as the forging of alliances and partnerships. She became the first woman to head the world’s oldest international health organization serving as Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the first WHO female Regional Director (2003-2013). Prior to being elected to this office, Dr Roses Periago served two terms as PAHO/WHO Assistant Director, from 1995 to 2003. In this capactiy, she was responsible for the direct supervision of all PAHO/WHO Country Representative Offices in the Americas, forming part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Directors of Programme Management Group (DPM) and the Global Programme Management Group (GPMG). She previously served as PAHO/WHO Representative in the Dominican Republic between 1988 and 1992, and in Bolivia from 1992 to 1995, developing technical cooperation programs and gaining vast and successful experience in putting public health at the center of development priorities. Her international career with PAHO/WHO started as coordinator of the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago (1984-1986), providing service to all the Caribbean countries, and as an epidemiologist in the Dominican Republic (1986-1987).
Currently, Dr Roses Periago is senior advisor in Global Health – Latin American and Caribbean Global Fund Board. She has also been serving as the Special Envoy for the Global Network Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Sabin Vaccine Institute from 2013 to date. Dr Roses is a member of WHO experts groups on malaria eradication and on leprosy elimination, as well as a Board member of the Roll Back Malaria Initiative. She is a member of the National Committee for Polio Free Certification, Argentina and a corresponding member of her country´s National Academy of Medicine.
She earned her MD from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, in 1969, following which she completed her specialization in Tropical Medicine, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, in 1971. Her graduate studies also include a diploma in public health (1974) and a specialization in epidemiology (1982) at the School of Public Health, Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as the specialist degree in clinical medicine and epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Buenos Aires, in 1976.
Dr Roma Solomon is a medical doctor by profession, with more than forty years of experience and a strong orientation towards community health. Dr Solomon has also worked in the fields of reproductive and child health, and sexual health, including HIV and AIDS in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Dr Solomon has worked at both grass root as well as managerial levels for various international organizations.
Since 1999, Dr Solomon has been heading the secretariat of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) consortium (CORE Group Polio Project) that works to eradicate polio and improve routine immunization in high-risk states of India.
She is a member and former chair of the Gavi Civil society organization (CSO) steering committee and oversight advisory group, and has written about the eradication of polio in Uttar Pradesh. Dr Solomon also represent Civil Society organizations at forums like SAGE, and Gavi.
Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul is Vice-President of Friends of the Global Fund Europe, member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM).
Ms Wieczorek-Zeul was Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in the governments of Chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel from 1998 to 2009. In this capacity, she served as Governor of the World Bank and as Member of Board of Supervisory Directors of KfW. She was also a member of the national parliament, the German Bundestag, from 1987 until 2013. Ms. Wieczorek-Zeul has been a vocal HIV/AIDS and women’s health advocate throughout her career, using her government positions to advance key research and policy agendas.
In 2008, Ms Wieczorek-Zeul served as Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha, Qatar.
Prior to her post as Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ms Wieczorek-Zeul was a Member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1987, where she served on the Committee on External Economic Relations, focusing on foreign trade and European development policy. She was Vice-Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1993 to 2005
The board represents recognized international experts in disciplines relevant to the Polio Transition IMB Terms of Reference: provide broad public health perspectives (health systems, immunisations, maternal and child health, global health security, communicable diseases); perspectives that may come from outside public health, such as on change management, human resources, and transition
 The Polio Oversight Board consists of: Director General, World Health Organization; Executive Director, UNICEF; Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; President 2016-17, Rotary International; and, President, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.