Surviving Disease


Twenty First Annual Darwin College Lecture Series 2006


Lecture 4   :   10 February

Richard Feachem

Global Fund



All nations of the world now face a major challenge from global pandemics for which they are unprepared. The largest global pandemic in the history of humankind, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, continues to spread and to devastate. Meanwhile, the world faces the prospect of a huge and rapidly spreading pandemic of avian flu. Facing up to these and other pandemics is a global public good of the highest priority. Currently, global capacities to deal with current pandemics, and to avert future pandemics, are woefully inadequate. The nature of determinants of global pandemics, past, present and future, are discussed and some of the lessons learned from HIV/AIDS in relation to preparedness for avian flu are elaborated. Professor Feachem concludes with comments on the need for enhanced supra-national mechanisms to deal with existing and future global pandemics.



Richard G A Feachem CBE FREng DSc(Med) PhD, a British national, took up his position as the first Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, in July 2002. Dr Feachem is also Professor of International Health at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Director of the Institute for Global Health at UCSF and UCB. He is also a Visiting Professor at London University and an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland.

From 1995 until 1999 Dr Feachem was Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank. Previously (1989-1995), he was Dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Professor Feachem served as Chairman of the Foundation Council of the Global Forum for Health Research; Treasurer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; Council Member of Voluntary Service Overseas; and on numerous other boards and committees. He was one of 18 members of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, and serves on the Commission on HIV and Governance in Africa. He has worked in international health and development for 30 years and has published extensively on public health and health policy.

Professor Feachem holds a Doctor of Science degree in Medicine and a PhD in Environmental Health. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2002 he was elected to membership of the Institute of Medicine. In 1995 Dr Feachem was awarded a CBE for services to international health by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Dr Feachem has also received honours from the Governments of Niger and Togo. 

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