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India. MID Sharma

Photo credit: n/a
Source: Lev Khodakevich


Dr MID Sharma (India, b. 1919), then Director of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, was assigned to India's smallpox eradication programme in 1973. In 1974 he was promoted to Commissioner of Rural Health, retaining responsibility for smallpox eradication.

Dr Sharma was widely known and respected among professional health staff and politicians alike for his expertise in the field of communicable diseases and for his executive ability. He had the full support of the Minister of Health and Family Planning, Dr Karan Singh. His commitment to the surveillance-containment strategy was total, and this he communicated to national and state officials on frequent visits to the field. These visits set an example for otherwise desk-bound lower-level supervisory staff to do likewise, motivating and inspiring staff at all levels.