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Medical Challenges of Climate Change to be Presented in Dynamic Talk by Chair of St John Ambulance

Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis will bring his unique experience to his talk exploring the link between medical advancement, war and other global threats.

Lionel Jarvis - credit Julian Calder

Malta will soon welcome Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, a highly decorated veteran who is also Prior of The Priory of England of the Most Venerable Order of St John and Chair of St John Ambulance, to present his fascinating talk describing how major advances in medicine emerge from war and global challenges like climate change.

In his talk, ‘Climate Change & Global Health Challenges – Perspective from a career in international military medicine’, Surgeon Rear Admiral Jarvis will draw on his personal experience in Iraq and the Helmand Province Afghanistan to explore how medicine has evolved throughout history alongside times of war.

While Surgeon Rear Admiral Jarvis will guide his audience back beyond the times of the Hospitaller Knights to illustrate medical advancements through the ages, he will also look to the future, and

“Hippocrates described the association [between advances in medicine and war] in about 400BC, and examples exist throughout history, including those in the Great Siege of Malta in the 16th Century,” explains Surgeon Rear Admiral Jarvis. “Through a short introduction from my own experiences, I will present a range of diverse but inter-related global issues that should stimulate reaction and debate, and, while I hope, will inspire a new shared understanding of these issues.”

Educated at Wellington College, Guys Hospital and Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis had an early medical career in general practice overseas and at sea, later becoming a member of the Faculty Board of the Royal College of Radiologists and Hospital Doctor of the Year 1999.

Over the years, Surgeon Rear Admiral Jarvis has been, among many other prestigious titles, appointed Executive Director of the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the Director of Medical Policy for the Ministry of Defence, Medical Director General (Naval), and Honorary Surgeon to Her Majesty the Queen. As well as being operationally deployed as part of the Gulf War and Iraq War, Surgeon Rear Admiral Jarvis also served as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Health), overseeing joint military medical operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, he was named the Prior of the Priory of England and The Islands and was appointed Chair of St John Ambulance.

As Commander of Merit Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Surgeon Rear Admiral Jarvis is also keen to support the Save Valletta’s Skyline appeal, which aims to raise €8 million to fund vital restoration work on St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta. “Valletta is a magnificent, iconic city, unique in its architecture and history, an enduring gem in the Mediterranean, and a treasure to be maintained for future generations to marvel and to learn its lessons of the past, for the benefit of the future,” he says.

‘Climate Change & Global Health Challenges – Perspective from a career in international military medicine’, a talk by Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, will be held on 22 October at the Phoenicia Hotel, Floriana.

Tickets are priced at €25 per person, which includes wine and canapés.

Tickets and further information are available via email on


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