Professor Alan Lopez, Head of the UQ School of Population Health.
Professor Alan Lopez, Head of the UQ School of Population Health.
24 February 2012

Professor Alan Lopez, The University of Queensland’s Head of the School of Population Health, has been elected Chair of the Executive Board of the Health Metrics Network (HMN), an independent partnership hosted by the World Health Organization designed to improve health information systems in poorer countries.

The HMN, founded in 2005 and based at WHO headquarters in Geneva, works with low and middle income countries to strengthen health information systems that can then provide the reliable, complete and timely information that is essential for public health decision-making and action.

Professor Lopez will Chair the HMN Board for three years, taking over its leadership at a time when the need for accurate health information is more important than ever.

“This is a crucial point in global health when we have the opportunity to consolidate and accelerate some great progress with disease control programs over the past decade, particularly for key global health concerns such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and vaccine preventable conditions such as measles, “ Professor Lopez said

“Consolidating these gains and further improving progress towards the Millennium Development Goals will depend on accurate, relevant and timely health information systems.

“I look forward to the HMN continuing to take a lead role in partnering with countries to improve the quality of their health information systems and, in turn, the health outcomes of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

The HMN has developed a framework for health systems that is already in place in more than 80 countries around the world.

Prior to joining The University of Queensland in 2003, Professor Lopez worked at WHO for 22 years where he held a series of technical and senior managerial posts and is co-author of the WHO’s Global Burden of Disease Study. He is a highly cited author whose publications have received worldwide acclaim for their rank in importance and influence in health and medical research. Earlier this month, Professor Lopez was co-author of a paper published in The Lancet which showed that worldwide malaria deaths are nearly twice as much as previously thought. Professor Lopez is the co-author (with Sir Richard Peto) of the Peto-Lopez method which is widely used to estimate tobacco-attributable mortality to support policy action.

Media: Kirsten Rogan, Communications and Media, University of Queensland Faculty of Health Sciences, 07 3346 5308, 0412307594 or