Education and professional experience



1991-1992         Free University of Brussels, Faculty of Medicine

                          PhD thesis: "Role of health districts and methodology of their development in Africa".        (readers: Prof. P.Mercenier and H. Van Baelen)


1982-1983         Harvard University, School of Public Health

                          Masters of Public Health (Tropical concentration).


1982                  Free University of Brussels, School of Public Health

                          Diploma in Statistical, Epidemiological and Operational Methods Applied to Public Health and Medicine, magnum cum laude with distinction.


1979-1980         Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

                          Diploma of Tropical Medicine, cum laude with distinction.


1972-1979         Free University of Brussels, Faculty of Medicine

                          M.D., cum laude with distinction.





1982                  Fulbright/Hays Award (USA)


1982                  Foundation for Scientific Research and Educational Exchange Award (USA)


1991                  Rotary Club Antwerpen (Belgium)

                                  "1991 Brabo Award" 


1990-1991         Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (Belgium)

                          Grant for research worker.


2012-2015             Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Queen Mary, University of London




French :            mother tongue

English :           fluently spoken and written

Spanish :         fluently spoken and written

Dutch :              good knowledge

Portuguese:     basic knowledge

Swahili :          basic knowledge




1981-2019       Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

1998 –2019: Associate Professor – Head of Unit of Public Health Care Sector, Department of  Public Health

1996 - 2011 :         Director of the Masters of Public Health programme over 4 years Co-Director for a period of 11 years, in rotating cycles of 2 years (International   Course for Health Promotion, CIPS / ICHD)

1994-1998: Lecturer, attached to the Department of Public Health (public health research and training unit).

1989-1993: Assistant, then first assistant, attached to the Public Health Research and Training Unit. Duties: study of development strategies for health districts and teaching  assignments.

1985-1988: Thiès Project ("Strengthening PHC in Senegal (Project details in: J.-P. Unger, P. Daveloose , A. Bâ , N.N. Toure Sene, P. Mercenier. Senegal Makes a Move towards the Goals of Alma Ata by Stimulating its Health Districts. World Health Forum, 1989, 10, 3/4: 456-463.).

1984-1985: Tutor of the Masters of Public Health program.

1984: Nutrition unit. Evaluation of large scale multisectoral projects organized by the Joint Nutritional Support Program (JNSP) and financed by FAO and the World Bank.

1981: Kasongo Project (Zaïre) ( The Kasongo project. Annales belges de médecine tropicale, 1981, 60, supplément.).

While attached to the ITM (during close to 40 years), I worked for numerous international agencies (WHO, WB, UNICEF, EU), NGOs (Medicus Mundi, Harvard Development Agency,…) and governments. I have been involved in health services management, health policy design, support to academic development in LIC and MIC (e.g. participating in the creation of the Institute of Public Health, PUCE, Quito). I taught in many international universities, in Europe and in developing countries. Finally, for 15 years, I initiated a project in Belgium to create health districts/local health systems in a country that has no such policy.



2019-2022: University of Newcastle   Visiting Professor