Halfdan Mahler, the Danish physician who served three five-year terms as Director-General of the World Health Organization, died last week in Geneva. Mahler may not be a household name, but he helped to fundamentally transform our collective notions of what global health is and should be. In this moment where WHO is undergoing its own re-examination of its priorities and programs, Mahlerâ€™s vision reminds us what could be. He also shows how global health is inextricably linked to international relations and politics. Mahlerâ€™s career mirrors the World Health Organization itself in many ways. He joined WHO in 1951, just three years after it started operations, at a time when it focused largely on disease-specific interventions. His first position was with National Tuberculosis Program in India, where he worked for nearly a decade. From there, he moved to Geneva to oversee WHOâ€™s tuberculosis program and eventually became an assistant director-general.
|Publication status||Published - 2016|