Professor Ruairi Brugha MB, BCh, BAO, MD, FFPHMI, MSc is a medical doctor, public health specialist, Professor Emeritus and recently retired Head of the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Having qualified as a medical doctor in 1980, he spent six years working in Africa in the 1980s and 90s, where he acquired first-hand, hands-on experience of the realities of delivering hospital care and public health programmes to rural populations. His research interests lie in global and Irish health systems and policy, funded through grants from the European Union (EU), Irish Aid and other development agencies; and the Irish Health Research Board. He has been leading two consortia of European and African research institutions, generating new evidence on surgical systems in Africa: EU FP7 COST Africa project, 2011-16; and the EU Horizon 2020-funded SURG-Africa, 6-country consortium, 2017-21. See http://www.surgafrica.eu/. Since 2011 he has been researching the factors determining doctor retention and migration – see http://www.healthworkforceireland.com/. Ruairi has published extensively and is committed to supporting positive changes in policy and practice, at global and national levels: see https://www.rcsi.com/people/profile/rbrugha. Since his retirement, December 2019, he has been commenting in international and national media (tv, radio and print media) on COVID-19 control.