International health professor named to global health fund

10 July 2002 | Richard Feachem, professor of international health, has been appointed undersecretary general and first executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an independent public-private partnership to combat these diseases.

He began his new job by participating along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and other national and international health authorities in a keynote conference on the role of public-private partnerships in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund will help heighten awareness and raise funds, especially in the private sector, to stem the spread of AIDS.

“I think the U.S. government’s overall response to the fund has been extremely generous,” Feachem said. “It was the first government to make a commitment to the fund. My own expectation is that as others increasingly come to the table and as the fund is able to demonstrate impact on the ground, then U.S. contributions will increase.”

Founded last year, the fund will invest in programs to reduce the suffering and poverty caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which together kill eight million people worldwide each year. The fund’s board of directors projects that the organization will grow from its current $2 billion to $8 billion by 2007.

Feachem said the fund will support specific programs that enhance prevention and treatment of the three diseases in Africa, Asia, poor countries in Latin America, and poor sections of middle income countries, such as Brazil. The organization will invest in preventive and treatment interventions that have been successful in local areas, then expand those treatment programs nationally and internationally.

Feachem, 55, a British national, is founding director of the UC San Francisco/UC Berkeley Institute for Global Health, which was established in 1999 to improve health and increase access to effective and affordable health services in all countries. Prior to that position, he was director for health, nutrition and population at the World Bank.

From 1989 to 1995, he was dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. He holds a doctor of science degree in medicine and a Ph.D. in environmental health.


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