In this Sussex Development Lecture, Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor and Director for Research and Evidence in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will share some analyses of ongoing trends, and make some personal reflections on key future agendas, drawing on her role as Chief Scientific Advisor in the FCDO and her career in global health as a Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The past 15 years has seen significant progress in health, with increasing life expectancy and declines in maternal and infant mortality in many developing countries. Alongside this progress, patterns of illness and death are evolving – with non-communicable diseases playing an increasingly significant role. Covid-19 has demonstrated the ongoing threat of new disease outbreaks, and how rapidly new diseases can spread in a globally connected and increasingly urbanised world – with impacts not only on health, but also on wider development progress.
The health effects of climate change are increasingly being felt, and are set to get worse, if progress to staying within 1.5 degree increase is not achieved. The breadth of health impacts of climate change will be significant, with the greatest impact falling on the most vulnerable populations and countries. As we still grapple with the after effects of Covid-19, and the evolving pressures on people, communities, and health systems around the world, what lessons have we learnt to inform global health governance for the modern era? What issues do we need to grapple with, to continue to make progress in health, and achieve a future of health security based on global cooperation, equity, trust and solidarity, in the face of ongoing and new health threats? What opportunities do advancements in science potentially create?
Professor Charlotte Watts, FCDO and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies
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