No Time to Lose A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses Publication date : May 6, 2015
Peter Piot is a microbiologist specialising in Aids research and the co-discoverer in 1976 of the Ebola virus. He is the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the former Executive Director of UNAIDS, the United Nations Aids programme.
The battle against deadly viruses is a perilous one. As a young microbiologist, in 1976, Peter Piot was one of the discoverers of the Ebola virus, well before the deadly epidemic manifested itself, and he has dedicated his life to the containment of infectious diseases, including AIDS/HIV. Because research in this field is such a great human and scientific adventure, Peter Piot’s life has had all the makings of a gripping novel, which is still in-progress since the diverse strategies of emerging viruses make their total eradication unlikely.
Later on, the scientist became an administrator: as the United Nations’ AIDS expert in charge of raising international funds for major AIDS programmes in African nations, Piot’s diplomatic skills would be severely tested. From Fidel Castro to former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, from poorly informed health ministers to Vatican officials against the use of condoms, the author offers a detailed description of the many obstacles that hinder the global struggle against major epidemics.
In this book, Peter Piot brings together two usually unrelated areas of competence: a scientist’s expertise and a public health administrator’s skill. Drawing on his valuable and unusual experiences, he describes ways of improving the management of international anti-epidemic health programmes. This inspiring book shows that the goal of attaining ‘global altruism’ in order to establish efficient health policies in developing nations may not be so far off.
• The history of Ebola and of other emerging viruses.
• A human adventure, from the lab to research policies.