Dr Ariful Islam
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Dr Islam, WHO Surveillance and Immunisation Medical Officer, often thinks of himself as a “street doctor” because that is where you can find him, among the communities he is serving.
“I enjoy everything about my job, especially organising the vaccination campaigns. On those days, I start at 5 am. You have to be ready early morning, when the vaccines arrive, and up until late night to collect and update data. The biggest moment is when you compile and send out the data. That’s when I think, ‘Yes, we did it.’ I never had an ambition to be a clinician. I love the field and the challenges of public health.”
He first arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in September 2017 to support WHO’s response to the Rohingya crisis for the first Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign that reached over 94,000 children. He was back among the Rohingyas to support the second MR vaccination campaign that reached over 286,000 children and for diphtheria vaccination campaign that targeted 318,000 children. He was once again deployed in Cox’s Bazar to support the just concluded second diphtheria vaccination campaign to reach nearly 300,000 children.