Faculty Member

David Zakus

Email Address(es)
dzakus(at)ryerson.ca
Division(s)/Office
Clinical Public Health Division
Position
Adjunct Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member

Research Interests

Current research projects and collaborations are in:

  • Niger (mHealth clinical trial with CHWs; funded by WHO and World Vision Canada, Ministry of Public Health),
  • Mozambique (MNCH; funding by IDRC, Lurio University),
  • Uganda (MNCH; funding by Grand Challenges Canada, Makerere University),
  • Rwanda (health promotion using radio; funding by UNICEF, Population Media Center and Umarage, others),
  • Ethiopia (health education development and biogas promotion; on-going development, Mekelle University and St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Ethiopian Midwives Association, others);
  • Ghana (infectious disease control through arts based health promotion; recently funded and now looking for more; University of Development Studies, Youth Home Culture Group);
  • Laos (malaria control, nutrition and food security; Health Poverty Action, UK and Veterinarians Without Borders, Ottawa),
  • China (health aging, primary care, TCM and health systems; Kunming Medical College and Yunnan Business Development University, Kunming and Pudong Health Development Institute and Fudan University, Shanghai),
  • Canada (publishing, student access to news, CCGHR board and committee leadership, thesis students, etc.) and as an
  • Editorial Board Member and Guest Editor, Family Medicine and Community Health

David Zakus, BSc, MES, MSc, PhD is an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Previous to this and most recently, from January 19, 2015-2018, he was Professor of Distinction in Global Health in the School of Occupational and Public Health, Faculty of Community Services, at Ryerson University, Toronto. Previous to this he was Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta (2011-2015) and previous to this he was Associate and Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (1996-2009), and Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University, Montreal (1990-95), Visiting Professor at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (1991-94) and Visiting Professor at Capital Medical University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai and Kunming Medical College. He is currently International Consultant at the Pudong Institute of Health Development, Shanghai and a member of the Yunnan Health and Development Research Association in Kunming, China.

David’s current research, teaching and service activities focus on: international and global health; primary health care; maternal and child health, health system and organization development, management and reform; infectious and non-communicable disease control, community-based health services and promotion; community participation, eHealth and mHealth solutions; education; and ecological wellness and environmental sustainability. He now co-leads a small consultancy company, D&D Education Services, on global education and research development; writes and publishes a series of development and travel books; and edits and publishes the Planetary Health Weekly, a weekly newsletter informing on global health and ecological issues.

He has extensive knowledge and experience in academia (since his first full-time academic appointment at McGill University in 1991), non-governmental organizations (including as President and CEO of Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief, and Program Director at the Canadian Public Health Association), and multilateral institutions (as an officer in PAHO at its Uruguay Centre for Perinatal Research; Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing Development at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto; and Senior Health Systems Specialist at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa).

Current research projects and collaborations are in:

  • Niger (mHealth clinical trial with CHWs; funded by WHO and World Vision Canada, Ministry of Public Health),
  • Mozambique (MNCH; funding by IDRC, Lurio University),
  • Uganda (MNCH; funding by Grand Challenges Canada, Makerere University),
  • Rwanda (health promotion using radio; funding by UNICEF, Population Media Center and Umarage, others),
  • Ethiopia (health education development and biogas promotion; on-going development, Mekelle University and St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Ethiopian Midwives Association, others);
  • Ghana (infectious disease control through arts based health promotion; recently funded and now looking for more; University of Development Studies, Youth Home Culture Group);
  • Laos (malaria control, nutrition and food security; Health Poverty Action, UK and Veterinarians Without Borders, Ottawa),
  • China (health aging, primary care, TCM and health systems; Kunming Medical College and Yunnan Business Development University, Kunming and Pudong Health Development Institute and Fudan University, Shanghai),
  • Canada (publishing, student access to news, CCGHR board and committee leadership, thesis students, etc.) and as an
  • Editorial Board Member and Guest Editor, Family Medicine and Community Health

Dr. Zakus has: a BSc in Biochemistry (University of Saskatchewan, 1975); a Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) in nutrition and environmental health (York University, Toronto, 1978); and an MSc (1988) and PhD (1992) in Health Services Management and Community Health (University of Toronto).

He has worked in some 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, East and Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe as an educator and researcher, and public health and health services consultant and professional. In Canada he has worked at six universities: Toronto, Alberta, McGill, Ryerson, York and Saskatchewan. At Toronto and Alberta he led large global health programs. He has developed and taught many classes at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Dr. Zakus has over 50 published research papers and book chapters in peer review publications and various others, now writes and publishes a series of books on culture, development and global health, and is the editor and publisher of the Planetary Health Weekly, a weekly newsletter to spread information about important and urgent global health and ecological issues (since March 2015 with over 150 editions to date).

Bringing more than 30 years of non-stop academic, NGO and private sector experience, expertise and leadership in global health and health services management in Canada and around the world he strives to make a significant contribution to students, faculty, universities and NGOs around the world, curriculum development, organization building, branding, innovation and creativity to where he works and their communities.