This is the first time a Bangladeshi has been appointed to this position
Bangladeshi scientist Dr Senjuti Saha has been appointed to serve as a board member on the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB).
She will be advising the World Health Organization (WHO) at Director-General level on progress on the polio transition process, according to the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) on Friday.
Dr Senjuti is the first Bangladeshi to be appointed to this position in TIMB which is created by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to monitor and guide the process of polio transition planning.
WHO is implementing a plan for polio transition approved by the World Health Assembly in May, 2018.
As a board member of TIMB, Dr Senjuti will advise WHO on how countries around the world can sustain the public health infrastructure – particularly essential immunization, wider communicable disease surveillance, emergency response – once polio money which has been used for years or decades to pay for non-polio activity is withdrawn.
In a Facebook post, Dr Senjuti wrote: “I feel honoured to have been appointed to serve on the TIMB.”
Two other board members were also appointed along with Dr Senjuti. They are Professor Sheila Leatherman from the US and Dr Lola Dare from Nigeria. The board is chaired by Sir Liam Donaldson from the UK.
Dr Senjuti led a team of researchers along with her father Dr Samir Kumar Saha to successfully complete the genome sequencing for the novel coronavirus, Sars-Cov2 for the first time in Bangladesh in May.
She is a microbiologist working at the intersection of Clinical Microbiology and Global Health as a scientist at the CHRF in Bangladesh.