UCL Grand Challenges


Lancet Lecture - Global Health Preparedness in the Face of Emerging Epidemics

24 July 2020

Jointly hosted by UCL Grand Challenges, UCL Institute for Global Health, and The Lancet, this online lecture presented key emerging lessons on global health preparedness as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, and implications for the future of global health.

Lancet Lecture

The event took place on 13th July and was recorded. It's now available to watch on YouTube.

Event Summary

Dr Pate presented learnings from the ongoing and costly COVID-19 pandemic and urged all to take a proactive, multi-sectoral approach to pandemic preparedness. He advised that reducing inequalities, building international consensus, and strengthening the financing of health systems are crucial to global security.

In response, Professor Andrew Hayward offered a complimentary analysis of the UK’s response to the public health emergency and strongly argued in favour of the empowerment, independence, and transparency of scientific advisory committees during times of crisis. Professor Ann Blandford commented on the role of connectivity and technology in the development and management of an epidemic.

Over 460 people joined us live for the lecture and almost 930 attended the Q&A, tuning in from Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The lecture has since been watched by over 1,800 people.


15:00 (BST) - Global release of the lecture

  • Welcome and Opening Remarks (Professor Michael Arthur, President & Provost of UCL)
  • Meeting Chair (Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet)
  • Keynote lecture (Dr Muhammad Pate, Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group)
  • Response (Professor Andrew Hayward, Director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Inclusion Health)
  • Response (Professor Ann Blandford, Deputy Director of UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering)

17:00 (BST) - Live panel discussion and Q&A with the audience

17:55 (BST) – Vote of thanks and close meeting (Professor Ibrahim Abubakar, Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health)

About the Speaker

Muhammad Ali Pate is the Global Director, Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice of the World Bank and the Director of Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents, based in Washington DC.

Dr. Pate, a U.S. and Nigerian national, was until recently the Chief Executive Officer of Big Win Philanthropy, based in the UK, and prior to that held several senior positions, including that of Minister of State for Health in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was previously in the World Bank Group where he joined as a Young Professional in 2000 and worked on health issues in several regions including Africa and the East Asia and the Pacific.

Dr. Pate is an MD trained in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, with an MBA from Duke University. Prior to this, he studied at the University College London. He also has a Masters in Health System Management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.

> Read more on UCL and the Lancet