series event

Pandemic preparedness: Ebola and beyond

The LSHTM-Charité Global Health Lecture Series brings together leading scientists from the UK, Germany and further afield to present cutting-edge research on pressing global health issues and to discuss the implications of their work for policy and practice.

PPE ready for use outside of the Accident and Emergency ward of FETHA 01 facility in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
PPE ready for use outside of the Accident and Emergency ward of FETHA 01 facility in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State

The inaugural event of the LSHTM-Charité Global Health Lecture Series will focus on Pandemic Preparedness. What have we learned from past outbreaks and what risks of new global epidemics do we face? Are we prepared for a new pandemic?

Prof Peter Piot, Director of LSHTM, will deliver a talk exploring these and other questions alongside Prof Christian Drosten, Director of Charité Global Health and Esther Yei Mokuwa, a social anthropologist from Njala University, Sierra Leone and Wagening University, Netherlands. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director of WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO), will chair the event,  providing insights into the policy context of pandemic preparedness.

About the speakers

Dr Matshidiso Moeti is the World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa and the first woman to occupy this position. Over the past five years, she has led a Transformation Agenda that is widely acknowledged to have improved the performance and effectiveness of the Organization. Dr Moeti is a medical doctor and public health expert, with more than 38 years of national and international experience. She has worked with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, where she has held several senior positions, since 1999. Dr Moeti successfully led WHO’s “3 by 5” Initiative in the African Region, which aimed to expand access to antiretroviral therapy in countries. Prior to joining WHO, Dr Moeti worked with UNAIDS as the Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva, with UNICEF as a Regional Advisor, and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health in various capacities. In recognition of her excellent service to humanity, Dr Moeti has received many accolades including an Honorary Fellowship from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. She is a great champion for women in leadership in global health.

Prof Peter Piot is the Director of the LSHTM and a Handa Professor of Global Health. He was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, and was an Associate Director of the Global Programme on AIDS of WHO. Under his leadership UNAIDS became the chief advocate for worldwide action against AIDS, also spearheading UN reform by bringing together 10 UN system organizations. He has a medical degree from the University of Ghent (1974), and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp (1980). In 1976 he co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and led research on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and women's health, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. He was a professor of microbiology, and of public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, the Free University of Brussels, and the University of Nairobi, was a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington, a Scholar in Residence at the Ford Foundation, and a Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was the Director of the Institute for Global Health at Imperial College, London and he held the chair 2009/2010 "Knowledge against poverty" at the College de France in Paris. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was elected a foreign member of the National Academy of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, and is also an elected member of the Académie Nationale de Médecine of France, and of the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native Belgium, and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. 

Prof Christian Drosten is a physician by training. He is board certified in virology, medical microbiology and infection epidemiology. He started his professional career at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, where he discovered the unknown virus causing SARS in 2003 (SARS = severe acute respiratory syndrome) and developed a diagnostic test that enabled public health authorities worldwide to stop the agent before it could develop into a pandemic. In 2007, at age 34, he became the founding director of the Institute of Virology at University of Bonn Medical Centre, now a well-known place for research on emerging viruses in Germany. In 2017 he took over the Chair of Virology at Charité, where he heads the Institute of Virology on Campus Mitte. Drosten has co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and coordinated research consortia funded by the European Union, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the German Ministry of Research. He received the German Federal Cross of Merit for his work to counter the SARS epidemic. 

Esther Mokuwa spent several years working as Field Coordinator for international research projects in agrarian development and rural health systems, based at Njala University, Sierra Leone. She collected first-hand data on rural community responses to Ebola control in the recent epidemic (2014-15) on behalf of the international Ebola Response Anthropology Platform, and has authored or coauthored several papers on rural conflict and community responses to Ebola. Esther holds a Master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Greenwich in the UK and is currently pursuing a PhD. Her thesis on the rural clash of institutions is nearing completion. She is a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).


Welcome                 Prof Heyo Krömer, Chief Executive Officer of the Charité Universitätsmedizin

Opening                   Dr Matshidiso Moeti

Presentations        Prof Peter Piot

                                   Prof Christian Drosten

                                   Esther Yei Mokuwa

Discussion               Q&A and discussion with the audience  

Closing                     Reception with refreshments

Watch the session

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The LSHTM-Charité Global Health Lecture Series is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and this event on Pandemic Preparedness is also supported by the Wellcome Trust.

LSHTM-Charie Global Health Lecture Series - collaborators


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