Event Report

Recording: Expert Talk with Dr. Sakib Burza, Medical Director at Health in Harmony

Expert Talk Sakip Burza

March 1st 2023

Radical Listening is an example of contextualizing the perspectives of rainforest communities as implemented by Health in Harmony. Internationally coordinated and cooperative approaches to identify and reduce health risks from our distorted relationship with nature and wildlife must be inclusive and respectful of Indigenous knowledge systems and their communities needs and traditions. To create a platform to foster exchange, aiming to reduce the risk of future pandemics, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade hosted this Expert Talk with Dr. Sakib Burza.

By partnering with local organizations and governments, Health in Harmony works alongside 135,000 Indigenous, Traditional, and rainforest peoples, protecting over 8.8 million hectares of high-conservation value rainforest in Indonesia, Madagascar, and Brazil. Sakib Burza will explore how this approach relates to the Alliance’s work, what insights from Health in Harmony’s scientifically confirmed work should be included in regulatory frameworks, and what conclusions might be drawn for members of the Alliance.

About the speaker

Dr. Sakib Burza directs the medical and emergency response components of Health in Harmony, while also developing the evidence base of operationalising planetary health. Sakib has been working in the humanitarian health sector since 2003, gaining experience across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, most recently completing a 6-year stint as the Asia Medical Operations lead for Doctors Without Borders, Spain. Through working with many human made and natural disasters, Sakib learned that a focus purely on human health without understanding and utilizing the role of the shared environment was a great missed opportunity to improve the wellbeing of all living beings, and not doing so would ultimately result in a cycle of failure.

A practicing physician, Sakib maintains an honorary Associate Professor position in the Clinical Research Department at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Tropical Medicine at Nagasaki University. Sakib received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh and a Family Medicine specialization from the Royal College of General Practitioners. He then completed a Masters of Science in Public Health in Developing Countries at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and then a PhD in Medicine at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp. He is interested in neglected tropical diseases, apes, mountains, kayaking, tall trees, and his family (not in that order…).