Global Health

After moving to Geneva in February 2007, I worked for PSI, a global federation that represents 8 million health professionals in 154 countries. I organized global campaigns aimed at protecting health care workers and improving public health services. We focused on shielding health workers from occupational hazards and advocating for the promotion of expanded and improved public health services. We successfully promoted the adoption of retractable syringes, the vaccination of health workers against a number of diseases, the improvement of workplace occupational health and safety and other life-saving measures. This work was important not only to safeguard medical personnel, but to maintain the availability for patients of scarce medical workers.

I was quickly incorporated into task forces and commissions of the World Health Organization, like the Safe Injection Global Network, Global Health Workforce Alliance, the health worker migration technical working group, and recruited to serve in various WHO expert consultations to develop guidelines on subjects including task shifting, or health worker prevention and treatment of HIV and tuberculosis. I was involved in the design and promotion of policies to address the global shortage of health care workers.

During the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, I worked closely with the WHO and ILO, on the global response. We gathered information for the WHO directly from the frontlines transmitted by health professionals in the 154 countries where our federation had members, and directly conveyed to them the information, policies and solutions developed by the WHO. I participated in WHO and ILO committees that drafted guidelines and policies to deal with the pandemic at workplaces, in order both to protect workers and reduce transmission as well as to minimize its economic impact.

In 2010, I joined The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, where I worked in the small team in charge of relations with the donor countries that provide over 95 percent of the 4 billion dollars a year raised to fight the three diseases. Through prevention and treatment, the Global Fund has saved over 44 million lives since its foundation in 2002. I was in charge of relations with major donors, specifically, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden and Spain. During the period I worked for the Fund, pledges from the United States rose from 900 million to 1,430 million per year, those of the United Kingdom from 190 million to 523 million, Sweden’s from 268 to 380 million and Canada’s pledges, from 137 to 205 million. Their cumulative pledges increased by 59 percent, from 1,495 million to 2,538 million US dollars a year, amounting to more than half of the 4 billion in annual contributions to the Global Fund.