At the Coalface of Polio Eradication
Nov 29, 2021 12:30 PM
Chris Maher AO
At the Coalface of Polio Eradication

Christopher Maher began his career in public health in the mid-1980’s, in South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands, working on nutrition and immunization for International NGOs and national governments. Chris was involved in strengthening  immunization programmes in Pacific Island countries, including the introduction of the then novel Hepatitis B vaccine. He joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1993, to work on immunization. Chris spent his first eight years in WHO working in the Western Pacific Region, based in Manila, covering more than 30 countries, rising over that time to head WHO’s immunization efforts in the Region. In late 2000, he was transferred to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at WHO headquarters in Geneva, and served in senior operational and managerial capacities. He has been involved in polio eradication at every level from organizing vaccination campaigns and investigating cases of paralysis, through to running the technical elements of the global program, and he has been directly involved in immunization and disease eradication and elimination programmes in countries all over the world. He was appointed Chief Scientist and Senior Advisor to the global programme in 2012. In early 2014 Mr Maher was appointed as Director of the WHO Regional Centre for Polio Eradication and Health Emergencies (based in Amman, Jordan), managing WHO’s emergency support to countries affected by the Syria crisis, and support to polio eradication and immunization programmes for the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. In January 2018 Mr Maher was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Australia by the Government of Australia, in recognition of his work on global polio eradication. In July 2019, he was appointed as Senior Adviser to the Director General of the World Health Organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Since his retirement from WHO in December 2020, he remains active in international public health and emergency response issues, and is currently a Senior Adviser to Respond Global, an Australian based organization dedicated to supporting emergency management, and to UNICEF Australia.
 

Sponsors