Measuring the Global Burden of Disease with Alan Lopez, MS, PhD

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

UCSF Mission Bay Campus
Mission Hall, Room 3700
550 16th Street, San Francisco

Policy and planning to improve population health, particularly in countries where the epidemiological transition is occurring more rapidly than anticipated, requires a good understanding of the leading causes of health loss in a population, and how rapidly these are changing. The burden of disease framework offers a useful platform to generate information to guide health decision making by quantifying the comparative importance of various diseases, injuries and risk factors in contributing to premature death and disability in a population. Building on more than 20 years  of measuring the causes of disease burden for almost 200 countries and territories, the Global Burden of Disease collaboration  has progressively expanded the scope of analyses to contribute more effectively to the management of key global health issues. Major challenges remain, however. One of the most pressing is how to help countries rapidly, and cost-effectively, improve their data systems on who dies of what in order to better support local, and global, health policy debates. The Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative offers a unique opportunity to transform health information systems and reduce ignorance about the leading causes of death in populations, and how they are changing, leading to more reliable estimates of disease burden. This talk will describe the aims, progress and challenges of the Initiative in 20 countries and its contribution to the current global focus on strengthening health information systems. 

Alan Lopez, MS, PhD

Professor Alan Lopez AC is a Melbourne Laureate Professor and the Rowden-White Chair of Global Health & Burden of Disease Measurement at The University of Melbourne. He was Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland from 2003-2012. He worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva for 22 years including Chief Epidemiologist in WHO’s Tobacco Control Program (1992-95), Manager of WHO’s Program on Substance Abuse (1996-98), Director of the Epidemiology and Burden of Disease Unit (1999-2001)). He was Chair of the Board of the Health Metrics Network, and is a member of the US Institute of Medicine. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2016.

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