Thursday 9 May 2024

Date: May 9, 2024
Location: ❑ Bobbie Jacobson : Towards future pandemic prevention: learning from four decades on the public health frontline

We are delighted to welcome Dr Bobbie Jackson OBE FFPH MBBS BSc who spent her working life as a public health doctor and activist inside the NHS, academe and beyond. Her primary passion has been the prevention of ill-health and closing the health divide. As government faces widespread scrutiny of its mismanagement of the biggest public health emergency of our time, she has looked for deeper solutions beyond the narrow confines of infectious disease. Her talk will highlight how repeated neglect of social and racial disadvantage and prevention of our major killers, including tobacco and modern living have contributed to those who lived or died of Covid-19. She will give examples of how this neglect has been overcome in the prevention of AIDS/HIV. Drawing on her recently-published memoir, Against the Flow, she will recount some of the front line battles for prevention she has been immersed in for over four decades. Her stories show what really can be achieved when public health teams work hand in glove with local communities, going beyond research into the often untidy realms of turning evidence into action. She believes there are lessons to be learned from the art of working internationally on tobacco and on wider health issues with the diverse communities of London’s East End. Together they offer new insights into tackling the growing inequalities made visible by the pandemic

Dr Bobbie Jacobson created an international movement on smoking prevention for women in the 1980s. She was Director of Public Health in London’s East End in the 1990s and Director of the London Health Observatory from 2001 to 2013. She has written widely in the scientific and popular media, including two best-selling books on prevention . She was awarded an OBE for services to public health in 2005. Her latest book, Against the Flow : Pandemic lessons from inside the wider battles for prevention, was published in March 2024 and will be available at the talk