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The central question for this workshop was

What have we learned from the pandemic what we and others can do to improve health care?


Our international panel of experts, chaired by Dame Sally Davies, explored lessons learned, shared best practices and discussed what could be done to invigorate our struggling health-care systems. At the end of the session,  we re-convened to look at synergies and explore what actions could be taken at an individual, community, national or international level.

According to Bill Gates in an interview with the Economist on August 18th 2020:

“Millions more are going to die before the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Most of these deaths would be caused not by the disease itself, but by the further strain on health-care systems and economies that were already struggling."

Article 25, Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

'Everyone has the right to food, clothing, housing and medical care in the event of sickness. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.'





MANAGER: Rosey Woollcombe


Rosey is co-founder of Peace Child International; has produced musicals, publications, a children's TV series, World Youth Congresses, developed educational programmes, and ran Peace Child headquarters in Hertfordshire, England.


She develops and runs peer-to-peer educational programmes in UK Schools on sustainability, communications and conflict resolution.


CHAIR: Dame Sally Davies

Dame Sally Davies is the Master of Trinity College. Previously, she was Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the UK government from March 2011 to September 2019. She is also the UK Special Envoy for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Prof. David Heymann


Professor Heymann is a distinguished fellow in the Global Health programme Chatham House.  Previously he was the World Health Organization's assistant director-general for health security and environment, and representative of the director-general for polio eradication.  He has worked  across the globe on Ebola, polio, smallpox, and a host of other infectious diseases



Samuel Boland (chair)

Samuel is chairing  Health Emergencies and Pandemic Preparedness. He is  a global health researcher and consultant specializing in epidemic, humanitarian, and public health emergency response. Among others, Samuel has worked for the World Health Organization and his ongoing research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine focuses on the role and perception of military and security services in their support to epidemic, humanitarian, and public health emergency responses.


Simone Carter

Simone has been working in humanitarian response for 10 years. An epidemiologist, focusing on descriptive and social epidemiology she set up the Social Sciences Analytics Cell in the September 2018 during the Eastern DRC Ebola outbreak. She leads Analytics for Operations for UNICEF’s DRC country team and global Public Health Emergencies Team and chairs the global Analytics for Operations working group.  


Marcela Ascuntar Rodríguez

Marcela Ascuntar Rodríguez currently serves as Mercy Corps’ Strategic Coordination Advisor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). She has previously worked in coordination during complex humanitarian crises, including in Colombia and during the migration crisis on the Venezuela-Colombia border. She has also worked with Mercy Corps in North Kivu (Goma, Beni, and Butembo).

Erin Polich


Erin is a global health professional with a wealth of domestic and international experience working on emergency preparedness and response, including extensive experience during disease outbreaks. Erin has worked in Sierra Leone, South Sudan, South Africa, and most recently for the City of Boston. She is passionate about integrating health equity into emergency response. Erin lives in New England.


Angus Fayia Tengbeh

Angus is a global health policy researcher  and  a current Ph.D. candidate at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, where he will be focusing on health policy formulation and implementation in countries with fragile health systems. Angus recently worked for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Sierra Leone , assessing the effectiveness of the Community Engagement Strategy implemented by the EBOVAC-Salone vaccine trial project in Sierra Leone.. He has a background in Public health and previously worked as an emergency response worker during the 2014- 2016 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

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Rachel Fletcher

Rachel is Save the Children UK Field Hospital Operations Lead. She has previously worked with the READY program for pandemic preparedness, the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Initiative to develop preparedness for emergencies and humanitarian responses using agreed minimum standards for national and internal teams and member states.  Over the years she has also undertaken WHO coordination roles in outbreak and WHO EMT Coordination during humanitarian responses.


Gini Arnold – Chair


Gini Arnold has 20 years with the non profit sector/UN working on population health in the areas of tuberculosis control, drug / diagnostics access, tobacco control, chronic diseases, and digital health. She has been part of the start up teams to many major global health partnerships (Stop TB, Global TB Drug Facility, UNITAID, Bloomberg Tobacco control initiative and Partnership for Healthy cities, Be He@lthy Be Mobile) Policy She is also leading a study of the uses of mobile technology in the public health sector, exploring opportunities for WHO and its partners to use new technology within global tobacco control efforts.

Dr Sivuyile Madikana

Dr Sivuyile Madikana (MB BCh, MBA, MPH) is the Commercial Executive at First Care Solutions leading the businesses in its telemedicine strategy. He is also part of Nutri Grip, a team that was awarded funding by the WFP Innovation Accelerator to explore health innovative tools that should benefit WFP beneficiaries. His special research interest is in digital media and its role in health behavioural change.


Abimbola O Adebakin

Abimbola O Adebakin:  In her drive to address access, affordability and quality of healthcare in Africa. Abimbola Adebakin set up Advantage Health Africa, a health tech company  focused on direct-to-consumer and B2B solutions in the pharmaceutical last mile space (promoting and She is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT), a Pharmacist, Business Consultant and Tech Innovator who is keen to drive performance improvement in the African Healthcare system


Orsolya Ihasz


Orsolya’s current research contributes towards understanding the role of social system relations in the diffusion of (responsible) innovation in low resource context, with special focus on the WHO’s Be He@lthy, Be Mobile digital health initiative. This project is the first UN initiative to use population-wide mHealth prevention services at scale and is the largest scaled mHealth initiative for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the world to date.


Dr Cassandra Bolanle Akinde  

Dr Cassandra Bolanle Akinde  is currently the Team Lead for The Neo Child Initiative, a non-profit which promotes child health awareness and sustainable education by improving access to healthcare and mentorship . Her work centres on helping these children understand that sound education and good health are vital determinants in ensuring their success as future leaders .  She is a Chevening scholar and  Student Ambassador for London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Alan Quinn Byrne LLB MSc (Global Health)

Alan Quinn Byrne is passionate about access to healthcare.

and has a keen interest in the legal areas of Medical Law, Medical Fitness to Practice, Human rights,  Data Protection law and currently working on Governance issues. He is currently studying for the New York bar exams, creating his own global health NGO on reforming global health law and is a member of the United Nations Association Young professionals committee. 


Himmelstein M.D., MPH

Jay is a Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and Family Medicine and Community Health, and Chief Health Policy Strategist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His professional career in research, policy development, and service has been dedicated to improving health care and health outcomes for those served by the public sector. He has placed special emphasis on US Medicaid programs and health services for people with disabilities, and is a nationally recognized physician, educator and researcher. Dr. Himmelstein served on the health policy staff for Senator Edward Kennedy in the US Senate and has participated in US Health reform efforts at the state and federal level for more than 30 years. 


Clare Copleston (chair)


Director of Meaningful Education and Author of Activity Gurus, Clare is a qualified teacher of mental health studies and an activist in promoting good quality care standards and best practice, enabling choice, independence and dignity. She is passionate about and believes that every human being has a right to lead a dignified life, and that we all have a common responsibility and opportunity to strengthen the dignity of others.


Lena Zamchiya - Operations and Franchise Director of Friendship Bench

Lena has extensive experience in the Not for profit sector both in Zimbabwe and internationally.  She  leads all internal operations within Friendship Bench as well as its international expansion. The Friendship Bench  (FB) project is an evidence-based intervention developed in Zimbabwe to bridge the mental health treatment gap.  Its problem-solving therapy is delivered by trained lay health workers.


Olivia Green

BSc Forensic Psychology. A Mental Health Recovery Worker, working closely in the community with patients under Ministry of Justice restrictions, as well as those with complex needs and risk histories. Currently studying MSc Clinical Child Psychology.


Rigerta Ahmetaj

A director of mental health education for a small community organisation, concentrating on early intervention for the youth generation. Rigerta is a pioneer for mental health and aims to improve local services through the use of strategy, resilience, and ethical practices. 


Victor Ugo

Victor is the Senior Campaign Officer at United for Global Mental Health and the founder of one of Africa’s biggest user-led youth mental health networks, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative. His organization won the 2017 Nelson Mandela-Graca Machel innovation award for best civil society organization and got inducted as one of the 100 sparks of hope across the world by the Elders. Victor pioneered the setup of the most active distress line in Nigeria, with over 25,000 interventions in 3 years and is the Nigerian representative for the Global Mental Health Peer Network. 


Dr. Sue Broster (chair)

Sue is a Consultant in Neonatal Intensive Care, with the Acute Neonatal Transfer Service for the East of England and Deputy Medical Director at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a committee member with the charitable organisation Cambridge Global Health Partnerships. Recently appointed as the  RCPCH Global Officer, Sue is committed to the RCPCH vision of a healthier future for children and young people developing and strengthening partnerships with our paediatric counterparts  across the world.


Evelyn Brealey

Evelyn is an experienced international development professional with more than 25 years’ experience in the UK, East and Southern Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe focussed on development of healthcare, children’s and social services. Evelyn is Director of Cambridge Global Health Partnerships – a charitable programme based on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus supporting international partnerships to improve health globally.


Clare Hanbury

Clare has worked in international education and development since 1983.She is an expert in developing simple, effective information on child health and in promoting the participation of children in health. Clare has been employed by Child to Child, UNICEF, UNESCO, Save the Children, the UBS Optimus Foundation, The Government of Denmark (DANIDA), Save the Children UK, Learning for Life UK, Save the Children USA; and the School Health and Nutrition Network’s FRESH initiative funded by the World Bank. 

Dr Emily Tumakwire

Family physician at Bwindi Hospital in south west Uganda 

Emma Lincoln

Community Sexual and Reproductive Health, North West Anglia Trust

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Dr Ibiye Adoki (chair)

Ibiye  is a doctor in Acute Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Following an undergraduate degree in Classics and French at Magdalen College, Oxford,. She has organised various audits and medical conferences, including a national Quality Improvement conference for junior doctors, and has been an Oxford University medical student assessor.


Dr. Jonathan Macauley

Dr. Macauley is a medical doctor and HIV clinician working in a rural sub-district in South Africa for their local health department. He is also a public health professional that completed his MSc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He has clinical experience in managing HIV and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and facilitated the MDR-TB program for his sub-district for before moving to London to complete my MSc.


Andrej Martin Vujkovac

Andrej Martin Vujkovac  is President of the International Youth Health Organization is a recently graduated Medical Doctor from Ljubljana. He spent most of his student years working in Youth Organisations. His work has included designing preventing programmes for Youth, advocating for better health policies in the field of addictions and training young activists who want to make the world a better place.


Margot Turner

Margot Turner is Senior Lecturer in Diversity and Medical Education and Chair of DIMAH (Diversity in Medicine and Healthcare). "I have been at St Georges for almost 18 years now working with students and the community to embed diversity issues into the curriculum. My most recent project was Mind the Gap a booklet  created in partnership with a black student, Malone Mukwende, showing clinical signs on black and brown skins."


John James OBE

John has 33 years of experience within the NHS including 4 CEO roles. He was Chair of the West London Cancer network (2002-2005) and Chair of the North West London Diabetes Network (2003-2004). As a senior civil servant for the Department of Health he served as Program Consultant on leadership for the NHS Next Stage Review and then as Deputy Director for the NHS Medical Director/Director General. He has been Chief Executive of the Sickle Cell Society for the last 7 years. In June 2018, John was awarded an OBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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