Hot Spots in a Wired World, with WHO's Dr. Margaret Chan
Luncheon presentation by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of the microbial world. Changes in the way people inhabit the planet have placed unprecedented pressure on this volatile microbial world. As a result, new diseases are emerging at an alarming pace, old diseases are becoming permanently established in new places, and resistance to antibiotics is rendering many mainstay drugs useless, raising the specter of a post-antibiotic era. Why has human activity in a world of radically increased interdependence made infectious diseases a much larger menace? Which new diseases are likely to be socially and economically destructive, and which are likely to remain highly localized? What are some of the many mechanisms, operated by the World Health Organization and its partners that keep the world alert to infectious disease threats and ready to respond?
Dr. Margaret Chan was appointed Director-General of the World Health Organization in 2006, and re-appointed for a second term until 2017. She joined the health body in 2003, and has served in different capacities including Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases, Representative of the Director-General for Pandemic Influenza and Director of Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Response. Dr. Chan’s career in public health began in 1978 when she joined the Hong Kong Department of Health. She was appointed Director of Health in 1994, and during her nine-year tenure in the position, Dr. Chan handled outbreaks of avian influenza and SARS. Dr. Chan obtained her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.