Harvard Dean Julio Frenk to chair PMNCH Board
10 DECEMBER 2009 | GENEVA, OTTAWA - Dr Julio Frenk, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, has been elected Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.
Dr. Frenk is an internationally renowned global health expert who served as Mexico's Minister of Health from 2000 to 2006. His legacy includes the introduction of comprehensive national health insurance, protecting the health of millions of women and children across Mexico.
"I am delighted Dr Frenk has accepted this important challenge," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health of Ethiopia and Co-Chair of The Partnership. "During his tenure as Minister, Mexico made significant progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, on child and maternal health. He has long been an inspiring colleague with a capacity to achieve significant results."
Dr. Frenk has extensive experience in many of The Partnership's key constituency groups, including the UN, donor, government, and academic communities. Prior to taking up his appointment at Harvard in January 2009, Dr Frenk was a Senior Fellow in the Global Health Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is also a former Executive Director of the WHO's Evidence and Information for Policy cluster in Geneva.
"Julio will be a tremendous asset to The Partnership," said Dr. Julian Schweitzer, Acting Vice-President of the Human Development Network of the World Bank and Interim Chair of The Partnership. "His leadership of Working Group 1 of the High-Level Task Force for International Financing for Stronger Health Systems has succeeded in placing women and children at the heart of the global health challenge."
Ann Starrs, President of Family Care International and Co-Chair of The Partnership Board, noted: "Julio has made an enormous contribution to global health through his innovative and practical ideas on how to reduce inequities and improve access to essential health services. He will be a passionate advocate for our important work at The Partnership."
Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Director of The Partnership, noted Dr. Frenk's exceptional stature and experience in working with many of the alliance's constituency groups. "Dr. Frenk's multidisciplinary outlook and strong leadership skills will enable us to make the most of the many capacities within The Partnership, allowing us to achieve even more for the health of women, newborns and children."
A sociologist and medical doctor by training, Dr. Frenk has published many scholarly articles and books, as well as producing two bestselling books for young readers explaining the functions of the human body.
"I am very pleased to accept the role of Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health," said Dr. Frenk. "Health is a fundamental human right. In countries where children die early and mothers die in the act of giving life, injustice breeds. When we see more than 10 million women and children die of unnecessary causes every year in poor countries, it presents an ethical dilemma for all of us. They are not dying from rare diseases; we have the tools to prevent this. The Partnership can play an important role in forging consensus on ways to act, and in bringing the world's attention to this very important issue."
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health is a global alliance of 300 member-organizations dedicated to advancing progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, relating to the reduction of child mortality and the improvement of maternal health. It is hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva.
For further information:
Board Relations and Information Officer
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Tel +41 22 791 2489
Mob +41 79 475 5551