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Love in the Time of Cholera: The Re-emergence of Cholera in the Americas

Master Class with Dr Jaime Sepúlveda

01/03/2022 - 01/03/2022
15.30 - 17.00 h (CET)
Jaime Sepúlveda

After a whole century of being cholera-free, the Western Hemisphere suffered a major epidemic throughout the continent. The outbreak of cholera first started in Peru in January 1991, causing major health and economic disruption to the country and its neighbors. Despite efforts to prevent importation, the epidemic rapidly spread also in Mexico.

This presentation describes the anticipatory and preparedness plans; the unexpected source of importation; and the paradoxical benefits of the epidemic in Mexico. Lessons are derived for pandemic preparedness in the future.

Dr Jaime Sepúlveda

Dr Jaime Sepulveda, the Haile T. Debas Distinguished Professor of Global Health, has been the Executive Director of UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences for the last 9 years. A member of the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet, he leads a team of over 350 faculty and staff. Sepulveda worked for more than two decades in a variety of senior health posts in the Mexican government.

After graduating from Harvard University, where he obtained two masters and a doctoral degree in Public Health, he became Mexico’s Director-General of Epidemiology. At age 36, he was appointed Vice-Minister of Health. For almost a decade, he was Director-General of Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health and Dean of the National School of Public Health. From 2003 to 2006, he served as Director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico.

From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Sepulveda was a member of the Foundation Leadership Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In that role, he designed and led the Mesoamerican Health Initiative, a result-based financing mechanism involving 8 countries and over $250M. He also served as the Gates Foundation representative to GAVI, and was elected Vice-Chair of the GAVI Board.

Additionally, Sepulveda is an experienced implementer of effective health programs. He designed Mexico’s Universal Vaccination Program, which eliminated polio, measles, and diphtheria by achieving universal childhood immunization coverage. He also modernized the national health surveillance system, created the National Health Surveys System and founded Mexico’s National AIDS Council.

Sepulveda served for 6 years as an elected member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.