A newly qualified doctor, Lee Jong-wook, offers his services treating leprosy patients at St Lazarus Village outside his home town, Seoul. Here he finds both direction for his future work and his wife, like himself a volunteer.
Desmond Avery describes Lee Jong-wook’s international adventures from Korea to Hawaii as a postdoctoral student, then to American Samoa as an emergency room clinician, and to Fiji as a World Health Organization medical officer for leprosy. As Lee’s WHO responsibilities expand to other areas, they take him to the Philippines, and then to Switzerland where, in 2003, he is elected Director-General of WHO, the first Korean to head an international organisation.
Through this account of Lee Jong-wook’s career in health and politics, the author touches upon many important questions: Will there be a next global pandemic of deadly influenza? To what extent are AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria controllable? Who will foot the bill for polio eradication?
The biography also yields important insights into international public health policy-making.
The book contains 26 photographs, in colour and in black and white, on art paper, covering various phases of Lee Jong-wook’s life.
Desmond Avery is former editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization and author of Beyond Power: Simone Weil and the Notion of Authority
Foreword by Han Kwang-su
Introduction: ‘This Great Doctor’
PART I: 1945–1979—Korea
PART II: 1979–2003—The Pacific and the World Health Organization
PART III: 2003–2006—Director-General