The ethical challenges of aiming at health equity and sustainability in the 21st century

Since 1958, the WHO has used high-income countries (HICs) as a benchmark for achieving “the best feasible level of health for all people”. However, the model offered by these countries is neither feasible or “for all”: it cannot be sustainably replicated all 7.6 billion people in our planet.

In this lecture, David will present alternative replicable and sustainable models of public health. Among other things, he will discuss: 1) whether the current ‘war against poverty’ makes sense; 2) the conditions for a life with dignity and how they differ from living at the poverty line; 3) whether there are enough resources to achieve global health equity; and 4) how can we integrate the notion of the conditions for a life with dignity into health equity.

The room is booked after the lecture for those who want to continue the conversation


About David

Dr. Chiriboga worked as a physician with indigenous people living in extreme poverty in Ecuador for 15 years. He worked for over a decade as a physician and as medical director of this hospital and its corresponding health district.  As Minister of Public Health in Ecuador, he undertook a major re-structuring of the MOH and of the country’s healthcare system. Today, Dr. Chiriboga holds an academic appointment at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he received a Faculty Diversity Scholar Award to establish a multidisciplinary research team to further develop the metrics of sustainable health equity.

Former Minister of Public Health of Ecuador

Former Member of WHO’s Executive Board

Associate Professor in Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School


Free and open to all