Dr. Al Awaidy, Salah

Communicable Diseases Adviser in Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Oman

Dr Salah Al Awaidy is a medical doctor, and holds a Masters in Epidemiology. His current position is Senior Consultant epidemiologist and Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control Adviser to the office of the Undersecretary of Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health, Oman.

He currently advises on eradication, elimination and control of communicable diseases of public health importance, in addition to the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), vaccine supply chain system and International Health Regulations.

He was Director-General of Communicable Diseases Control (CDC) between 1997-2002. In the national arena in the Ministry of Health, he played a pivotal role in reducing the national under-five mortality and morbidity, preparedness, management and control of infectious diseases such as SARS, avian influenza and pH1N1 and in establishing national communicable diseases, AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunization) and rotavirus surveillance, as well as in the eradication of polio, measles, rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) and leprosy in Oman. In addition, he played a fundamental role in reducing mortality and morbidity of vaccine-preventable diseases for paediatric, adolescent and adult populations in Oman.

Under his leadership, Oman achieved polio-free, measles-free, rubella-free, dranculosis-free and CRS-free status, neonatal tetanus elimination and control and near elimination of hepatitis B and other vaccine-preventable diseases like TB and schistosomiasis. Oman received the first ever certification that the Central Vaccine Store fulfilled all the criteria expected of WHO/UNICEF in 2003 and 2004. As a result, Oman has achieved and maintained almost 99% immunization coverage regionally and nationally.

In June 2012, Dr Al Awaidy was honoured by the CDC as the highest achieving person in Oman.

In the international arena, Dr Al Awaidy has served on a number of important global advisory groups, namely the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for Polio Eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan (since 2013), Strategic Advisory Group on Immunization (SAGE), WHO Geneva (2005-2007), Strategic Advisory Group on Vaccine and Store Management Training Courses (2005-2008), Strategic TB Advisory Board (2007-2011) and the AIDS Regional Advisory Group (ARAG), EMRO (since 2005). He has also been a member of the GAVI Independent Review Committee since 2014.

He currently serves on the IHR Emergency Committee for Polio. He has been a member of the polio Transient Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB) and the regional TAG for polio as well as a member of the regional verification commission for hepatitis B control, the EU diabetes and influenza group, and, since 2020, the Global Task Team of Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Response at WHO headquarters.

All Sessions by Dr. Al Awaidy, Salah