Originally published at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Published with permission.
Dr Mohammed Yassin, an experienced public health physician and infectious disease epidemiologist, is currently serving as the Senior TB Advisor at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, he provides technical leadership on TB/MDR-TB, TB/HIV, TB and COVID-19 and advises Global Fund teams and countries to ensure resources are invested in priority interventions and populations to maximize impact.
His passion to fighting infectious diseases began over 25 years ago when he started piloting the TB programme in Ethiopia. Later, he became a regional manager for TB and communicable diseases. Before joining the Global Fund in 2010, Dr Yassin worked at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, where he designed, implemented, and managed several multi-country projects, including the “Same-day” TB diagnosis approach which was recommended by WHO in 2010 and the Community-based TB project in Ethiopia, which received the Kochon prize in 2016.
Dr Yassin is committed to promoting innovation and partnership and has worked with national programmes in several countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Western Pacific, as well as with technical partners globally. He is a member of several global task forces, including Private Sector Engagement in TB, DR-TB, and Digital Health, and contributes to policy development and accelerates implementation. Dr Yassin has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work and experience in several international and national forums.
Dr Yassin chose to study at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine because of its reputation as the oldest Tropical School in the world, and its contribution to fighting against the deadliest diseases. He was also a fan of Liverpool football club. Dr Yassin wanted to advance his knowledge, skills, and experience in tropical medicine and infectious diseases and contribute towards addressing them, as these were (still are) the major killers when he was working as a physician in a health centre in Butajira, Ethiopia, where capacities and resources to tackle the diseases were scarce.
He received a scholarship from Irish Aid which enabled him to pursue his studies at LSTM and completed his master’s degree in Tropical Medicine and Infection diseases with distinction in 2000. He rejoined LSTM as Research Fellow after three years and received other scholarships while he was working there, including travel scholarships to Nigeria, Canada, and South Africa.
LSTM had a significant impact on his skills, confidence, and personal goals. He was already familiar with tropical and infectious diseases from his medical school and work as a physician but studying at LSTM provided him with the opportunity to explore parasites, bacteria, viruses, vectors, mosquitoes, flies, and to experiment in the labs, including meningitis, improving TB diagnosis as part of his masters and PhD thesis/projects. This was critical for his career, confidence, and achievements so far.
His advice to prospective students at LSTM is to focus on their studies, as there is a lot to learn, and great opportunities to advance their ambitions and careers. He also advises students to share their extensive experiences with their classmates and other students, enjoy the multi-culture institution, and maintain their networks after graduation.
Dr Yassin is still committed to fighting TB and hopes to see the end of TB in 2030. He started his career as a medical officer responsible for a pilot TB project in his country, expanded the program to over 500 facilities in his region (over 20 million people), conducted several research and implementation projects on TB, taught about TB, and published several papers on TB. As Senior TB Advisor of the Global Fund, he has the opportunity to work with different teams, countries and partners all over the world. His advice and support to countries are based on his extensive experience as a physician, programme manager, researcher, epidemiologist, public, and global health expert. Despite his busy schedule, Dr Yassin still finds time to enjoy mind mapping with colleagues on new ideas, projects, and writing manuscripts – and watching and playing football.