Our Team

Dr. Shajy K Isac

Managing Trustee

Dr. Shajy K. Isac is the Managing Trustee of India Health Trust (IHAT).
As a development professional, Shajy provides strategic direction to global initiatives on HIV and AIDS, Family Planning, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening. He also leads efforts to forge new collaborations and partnerships and provides key technical advice to governments in various low and middle income countries.

With well-acknowledged expertise as a researcher, demographer and statistician, Shajy has been deeply involved with public health research and the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of programs for decades. He has led M&E frameworks for HIV prevention and care, and maternal and child health programs in Asia, Africa and Europe. Shajy believes that it is his desire to address critical public health issues that has led him into this domain of work within the development space.

Shajy has spearheaded a number of studies of global relevance. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed papers, which have been published in global journals. He has mentored research students from India and abroad. Shajy has held several significant positions in global consortiums like the World Bank, United Nations, AIDS control programs in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

He received his Doctorate of Philosophy from the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai.

Our Team

Ms Parinita Bhattacharjee

Trustee

Ms. Parinita Bhattacharjee is a founding member of India Health Action Trust (IHAT).
She has over two decades of experience in program designing and management with an expertise in the field of sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention and care. An advocate for gender equity and community participation, she has been working on integrating the same within public health programs. Parinita has been a champion of the program science approach and has consistently made efforts to ensure that research becomes meaningful for programs and policies.

Parinita has been involved in providing technical support for HIV prevention in several Asian and African counties like Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Malawi, Cote d’ivoire, to name a few. She leads the technical support units to the Government of Kenya to scale up HIV prevention programs. She is also involved in program science research for innovations like HIV self-testing. In the past, Parinita has served as a member of NACO’s Technical Working Group to scale the Link Worker Scheme, has led the gender and violence working group for the STRIVE consortium led by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has authored several journal articles, strategy papers, reports and project-related training manuals on scaling up HIV prevention programs, interventions with key populations, gender based violence, community mobilisation, to mention a few.

She supports IHAT by providing strategic direction and guidance related to community centric program design and implementation.

Parinita has Master’s Degree in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India.

Our Team

Dr. B.M. Ramesh

Trustee

Dr B.M. Ramesh is a founding member of India Health Action Trust (IHAT).
A social scientist and a renowned demographer, Ramesh has more than three decades of experience in teaching, research, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the fields of demography, maternal, newborn and child health and HIV and AIDS. He led the design of technical support strategies in the public health for HIV and Maternal Health Programs in India.

Ramesh has pioneered several tools and methods for evidence-based planning and monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS programs such as the geographical mapping of high-risk groups, use of management information systems for peer educators and program managers, and polling booth surveys to measure program outcomes.

He was a coordinator of the first National Family Health Survey (1992—1993) and has held leadership positions at Population Research Centre, Dharwad and the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit. He was also a lecturer at the International Institute for Population Sciences. He has authored more than 100 publications.

He supports IHAT in building strategic partnerships with the governments and global agencies while also providing guidance to IHAT’s Research, Monitoring and Evaluation team.

He holds a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Demography from Bombay University, India.

Our Team

Dr. Shivalingappa Halli

Trustee

Dr. Shivalingappa S Halli is an eminent demographer and a statistician, who has worked extensively in a wide arena of fields such as HIV, social demography, immigration & integration issues, gender based violence, maternal, newborn and child health. He has conducted various sociological research studies to generate ideas for new program interventions related to workplaces (both in informal and formal sectors), migration (of both clients and female sex workers), religious jathas (gatherings), etc.

Shiva has led some significant projects like River Bank Erosion Project in Bangladesh, Fertility Project in Australia, Immigration and Integration Projects in Canada and HIV Risk and Migration Projects in Karnataka. He has served as a member of the Evaluation Advisory Group of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for HIV and AIDS program in India; and during his consultancy with the United Nations, he was responsible for analysing a national survey on Safe Motherhood in Sudan. Shiva has authored 10 books and more than 70 publications/papers in peer reviewed journals.

The Government of Karnataka, in recognition of his contribution in the area of HIV, awarded him Rajyotsava Award, the highest civilian award in the service category. He was also felicitated by the Canadian Sociological and Anthropological Association for his outstanding contribution and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, India, in 2018.

Shiva provides strategic direction to IHAT in the area of family planning, and monitoring and evaluation.

Shiva earned his Ph. D. in Social Demography from University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

Our Team

Dr. Prakash Kudur

Trustee

Dr. Prakash Kudur has over three decades of technical and managerial experience in public as well as private health sector domains, ranging from work with International Health organisations to NGOs, hospitals, industrial hospitals, pharmaceutical/Medical-Surgical companies and medical colleges. He has provided leadership for public health programs in the areas of Polio, MCH/Immunisation, HIV and AIDS, Corona Virus-MERS and Tuberculosis (TB). He has managed a wide range of portfolios during his career.

Prakash served as Director of Medical Services and TB Programs at Karnataka Health Promotion Trust. He has also held leadership positions at Becton Dickinson India Ltd. and at HMT Hospital. He was the Resident Surgeon at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology at Bangalore and served as a Senior Specialist in Public Health for the Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was also associated with WHO and UNICEF, where he worked on large scale disease surveillance and eradication programs for Polio and Measles. He has contributed as an advisor for various government departments on promotion of Infection Control and Patient Safety. Prakash has been a part of several national and international conferences and was a speaker at the IAS Conference Mexico in 2008 and ISSTDR Conference at London in 2009. The World Health Organization has recognised him as an expert advisor on HIV-TB.  He has authored various publications related to Sexually Transmitted Infections, Key Populations and HIV treatment and care, to name a few.

He provides strategic support to IHAT in the areas of Health Systems Strengthening, HIV and TB.

Prakash has a degree of MD in Community Medicine from the University of Mysore; he completed his MBA in Health Care Services Management from Sikkim-Manipal University, India.

Our Team

Ms. Lakshmi Sripada

Trustee

Ms. Lakshmi Sripada brings to the table over a decade of experience in the field of Program Management, Health Systems Strengthening and Knowledge Management. She has been at the forefront of providing technical assistance to National and State Governments to drive program and policy reforms in the areas of Health Systems Strengthening, Universal Health coverage and  HIV/AIDS.

A meticulous and a passionate professional, Lakshmi currently supports various projects funded by the World Bank in Public Health space in developing and implementing strategies in areas such as Human Resource for Health, Health Insurance, Health Financing and Performance Management. She has previously worked with various government and non-government organisations and led the successful transition of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funded Avahan project to the National AIDS Control (NACO) and further supported the India Learning Networks to establish south-to-south knowledge sharing and technical support units for HIV/AIDS in Africa and South Asia.

Lakshmi is a Post Graduate in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, with a specialisation in family and child welfare and an Arts Graduate with a major in Psychology and Political science.

Our Team

Dr. James Blanchard

Sr. Advisor

Dr. James Blanchard is an epidemiologist, a physician and a public health expert. He has contributed immensely in the field of epidemiology and control of STIs and HIV, transmission dynamics, and social and behavioural aspects of HIV. He has facilitated the establishment of internationally recognised research programs in inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes, and continues to conduct research in these areas. He is actively engaged with policy makers and public health leaders to translate scientific knowledge and approaches to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public health programs, with an emphasis on improving the health of disadvantaged populations.

James is currently the Director of the Institute for Global Public Health at the University of Manitoba and oversees its various projects across globe. He has over 20 years of experience working in India during which he has worked in the areas of HIV prevention and care and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.  He was a contributor to the design of India’s National AIDS Control Program, has assisted in setting up the second generation HIV/AIDS surveillance project in Pakistan, and helped the mapping of populations at high risk of HIV in Afghanistan. In addition to this, he provides support to various programs in Africa and South America.

James has received numerous awards, including the Frederick G. Banting Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association and the 2006 Rh Award for Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba from the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation.

He provides strategic direction to IHAT’s programs on HIV/AIDS, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening.

He received an MD from the University of Manitoba and an MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Our Team

Dr. Stephen Moses

Sr. Advisor

Dr. Stephen Moses is a physician, scientist and a public health specialist who has spent more than three decades in applying the discoveries and methods of medical science to public health programming and policy globally. Stephen has pioneered HIV prevention programs in Kenya and India, forged institutional alliances for international health research and collaboration, and led public health research programs throughout Asia and Africa.

His main research and programmatic interests include biological and behavioural risk factors for STI/HIV transmission; syndromic approaches and risk assessment in the management of STIs; targeted interventions to reduce the transmission of STIs and HIV infection; and health worker training in STI/HIV management in resource-poor settings. He has made major contributions internationally to understanding biological and behavioural risk factors for sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV infection, and translating research findings into practice.

Stephen is a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and until recently was Head of that Department. He has served as a Medical Advisor, Communicable Disease Control, Public Health Branch, Manitoba Health, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Visiting Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA; and Regional Representative for Eastern and Southern Africa, Health Sciences Division, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Nairobi, Kenya, among other positions. He has authored over 260 peer-reviewed publications, as well as several monographs and book chapters, and has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences. He received an Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2001–2006, and in recognition of outstanding research accomplishments as a senior faculty member at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Moses was awarded the Dr. John M. Bowman Memorial Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation Award in 2011. Also in 2011, Stephen was awarded the Doctors Manitoba Scholastic Award, for scholarly activity in the health professions, and was inducted as a Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2016, Dr. Moses was awarded the delivery of the annual Mark Wainberg Lecture, Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR).

At IHAT, he supports the senior leadership in program design, development, implementation and evaluation, as well as liaison with funding agencies, and support for narrative and financial reporting.

He received his MD from the University of Toronto and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.

Our Team

Dr. Marissa Becker

Sr. Advisor

Dr. Marissa Becker brings to IHAT her expertise in infectious diseases (HIV prevention and care), Global Public Health and Program Science. Her research interest is in understanding HIV risk, vulnerability and outcomes among marginalised populations, with a specific focus on adolescent girls and young women. Marissa has conducted numerous biological and behavioural studies examining the structural, behavioural, and biological factors that place female sex workers and other vulnerable populations at risk of HIV in India, Kenya and Ukraine. She provides strategic support and research expertise to IHAT’s programs on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and HIV.

Marissa is an Associate Professor, Departments of Community Health Sciences and Medical Microbiology at the University of Manitoba, Canada and is the Associate Director for the Manitoba HIV Program. She has authored more than fifty peer-reviewed publications and has been awarded the Manitoba Health Research Council/Manitoba Medical Services Foundation Clinical Research Professorship in Population Medicine as well as a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator Award.

Marissa has a Doctorate in Medicine from University of Manitoba. Her other educational qualifications include FRCP(C) Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and MSc. Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Our Team

Dr. Reynold Washington

Sr. Advisor

Dr. Reynold Washington is a founding member of India Health Action Trust (IHAT). A medical doctor and a community health specialist,  he has over three decades of expreience in programming, research and teaching. He successfully led the scaling up of HIV prevention and care services, training systems and research initiatives across Karnataka and other states in India. His areas of interest include HIV, TB, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. He has been recognised for  several pioneering innovations that significantly contributed to the national program and public policy, and for translating knowledge to students, program implementers, policy makers and donors within India and in several countries in Africa and Asia.

He is an Adjunct Professor at St John’s Research Institute, Bengaluru and an Associate Professor with the Community Health Sciences department at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He is a technical resource member for the World Health Organization (WHO), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), and the Karnataka State TB Operations Research Committee. He has authored and co-authored about 60 publications in peer reviewed journals and has presented more than 120 papers at National and International Conferences. He received the B.M. Patil Oration award from the Karnataka Association of Community Health in 2013, a citation from St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences for more than a decade of community health service, and a medallion from the Governor General, Canada for promotion of bilateral programs that have influenced public health policy in 2014.

At IHAT, he supports the senior leadership in program design, development, implementation and evaluation, as well as liaison with funding agencies, and support for narrative and financial reporting.

He completed his MD in Community Health from St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore University and the Diplomate of the National Board of Exam in Social and Preventive Medicine, National Board of Examinations, New Delhi

Our Team

Dr Krishnamurthy Jayanna

Sr. Advisor

Dr. Krishnamurthy Jayanna is a physician and a public health specialist, specifically in the areas of sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health.

He received his MD in Community Medicine from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore. He holds a post-doctoral fellowship from International Infectious Disease and Global Health Training Program offered by University of Manitoba, Canada.

Our Team

Dr. Vasanthakumar N

Executive Director

Dr. Vasanthakumar is the Executive Director of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). As the lead of UP TSU, Vasanth drives flagship programs on Health Systems and Policy, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Family Planning and Nutrition. Vasanth embarked his journey into the medical profession followed by specialisation in public health, further leading to serve as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer since September 2004 across India. The entire gamut of skills, aptitude, technical knowledge and forte that he has brought to the table, catalyses the intense work being implemented in Uttar Pradesh to improve upon the health outcomes of the state.

With more than 15 years of experience across government & non-government sectors and academia, Vasanth’s core areas of expertise include governance, techno-managerial support to public health systems, setting up emergency response systems, procurement systems and developing collaborative models for executing developmental projects.

Before becoming the Executive Director, Vasanth has served as the Mission Director for Delhi State Health Mission, Additional Secretary (Health) & Additional Secretary to the Chief Minister for Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Managing Director of Geo Spatial Delhi Limited and also served as the Collector for Lakshadweep Islands and Karaikal district, Pondicherry. In the past, he was also appointed as member of Board of Governors at Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. Vasanth has been recognised for his substantial contribution in medicine as well as governance. He received the National e-Governance Award 2013 and the President of India’s Silver Medal for Census Operations in 2011.

Vasanth has the degree of Doctor of Medicine – Internal Medicine from Coimbatore Medical College, Tamil Nadu. He is also a Master’s in Public Health with certification in Public Health Economics and Health Systems and Policy from Bloomberg School of Public health, Johns Hopkins University and also Master’s in Public Policy with certification in Health and Health Policy (HHP) from Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.

Our Team

Mr. John Anthony

Director, Community Process and Outreach

Mr. John Anthony leads the Community Process and Outreach portfolio for reproductive health, maternal health, newborn and child health, immunisation and nutrition initiatives for Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP-TSU). John provides  technical expertise and support to the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP), the state’s Department of Health and Family Welfare, and the National Health Mission, Uttar Pradesh to improve community outreach interventions that contributes to improved maternal, newborn, child health and immunisation coverage outcomes. He leads a team of public health professionals that helps the GoUP to plan, implement and evaluate interventions that contribute in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality.

His areas of expertise include Maternal and Newborn Health with a focus on designing and implementing Community outreach Interventions, Facility Interventions such as improvements in intrapartum and postpartum care, strengthening First Referral Units, and systemic improvements such as mentorship programs across facilities and community outreach for key staff, among other domains.

John has also served as the Head of the National Technical Support Unit, National AIDS and STI Control Program, Ministry of Health, Government of Kenya. He has led one of the first Technical Support Units for HIV/AIDS intervention in India for the state of Karnataka. He has authored several publications pertaining to strengthening government management capacity to scale up HIV prevention programs through the use of Technical Support Units. He has also written about How The Avahan HIV Prevention Program Transitioned From The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to The Government Of India, which is significant given the importance of transition and sustainability at scale for public health programs.

He holds a postgraduate degree in Rural Management.

Our Team

Ms. Preeti Anand

Director, Family Planning

Ms. Preeti Anand leads the Family Planning program of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). She provides technical assistance to the Government of Uttar Pradesh to improve access and quality of family planning services. A visionary with a strong collaborative ability, Preeti not only manages donor and partner relationships, but also efficiently contributes into state level strategic planning on family planning, including project administration, implementation and fiscal management. She leads a team of experts that works tirelessly to support the government in strengthening family planning interventions across the state. The efforts leading to these have the potential to break the cycle of poverty and bring sustainability at the fore.

Having more than two decades of experience in the development sector, Preeti has worked as a key strategic planner, program implementer in the areas of family planning, safe abortions, maternal health and HIV using social marketing and franchising models/tools at scale in a population base of over 400 million and managing projects in tune of over 20 million USD. Her niche are in program management and compliances of large-scale projects. Have designed, developed and help adopt, behaviour change communication campaigns for family planning, reproductive health and HIV.

Prior to joining IHAT, Preeti has played a key role in developing policies, training curriculum and management systems in bilateral and multilateral organizations. She has worked on projects supported by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, USAID, ST Buffet Foundation, DKT International, Marie Stopes International. She has also worked with Janani (DKT Bihar), Chetna and Aga Khan Foundation (India).

Preeti has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Our Team

Dr. Manish Kumar

Director, Nutrition

Dr. Manish leads the Nutrition portfolio for the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). He provides technical, administrative and strategic leadership to the design, implementation and measurement of the nutrition interventions of Government of Uttar Pradesh. The role also envisages providing nutrition-related technical support to other projects of UP TSU, including engagement with external nutrition partners of the state.

His areas of expertise include management of large scale Public Health Programmes including HIV and Nutrition with a focus on designing and implementing community interventions and systemic improvements such as mentorship programs for key ground staff, among other domains.

Manish has served as Director of USAID-funded project on Social Protection of Orphaned and Vulnerable Children that was being implemented in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. He has earlier worked as the Team Leader for the Technical Support Unit of Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society, where his primary role had been to manage state wide implementation of Targeted Intervention Programs and to provide strategic planning inputs in HIV/AIDS to the Government of Karnataka. He has also managed a large scale USAID programme on HIV Prevention and Care programme (SAMASTHA) as it’s Deputy Chief of Party.

Manish holds a Postgraduate Degree in Medicine from IInd Tashkent State Medical University and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion from PHFI.

Our Team

Dr. Renu Srivastava

Strategy Director

Dr. Renu Srivastava, Strategy Director for Newborn and Child Health, provides strategic leadership and technical guidance to the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). Renu acts as a coordinator and information focal point for all key stakeholders within UP TSU and the external partners working to carry forward the agenda of Survive, Thrive and Transform for newborn and child health. Her direct liaison with the government at the state and national level ensures alignment of the agenda and integration of work plans for newborn and child health.

As the techno-managerial support to Child Health Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) under Norway India Partnership Initiative, Renu assisted in accelerating child health survival under National Health Mission. She coordinated with other divisions at MoHFW, including National Health System and Resource Centre’s in implementing Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent health strategy. Her efforts helped in ensuring consistent implementation while generating evidence base for State specific advocacy and policy direction using standardised tools for mentoring and monitoring and database for Facility based newborn care units across States and Union Territories. Renu also had the privilege to represent national level at regional/state levels of technical and implementation fora.

In her previous stints, Renu has served in various capacities with Uttar Pradesh Provincial Medical & Health Services. As a Surveillance Medical Officer in National Polio Surveillance Project (WHO), she provided technical and logistic assistance for planning, evaluating and monitoring polio eradication activities in India through advocating with Government counterparts and stakeholders. Renu was the member of Core Team for developing India Newborn Action Plan and contributed in several technical and operational national guidelines and guidance notes; like Sepsis management & use of Antenatal corticosteroids by ANM, Kangaroo Mother care & optimal feeding, Child Death review, Home based young child care etc.

Renu has done MBBS and MD in Paediatrics from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow and MBA in Health care from Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Delhi.

Our Team

Dr. Bidyut Sarkar

Director, First Referral Units

Dr. Bidyut is the lead for the First Referral Units domain of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP-TSU). Bidyut spearheads the initiatives on strengthening the government health facilities across Uttar Pradesh. He provides strategic direction and technical support to the Government of Uttar Pradesh in streamlining the referral pathways, building the capacities of the medical personnel and developing systems to address the maternal and neonatal complication management & mortality. His role is vital to devising solutions to support the government in reducing maternal, infant and neonatal mortality rate of the state, thus contributing to country’s goals on healthcare and sustainability.

A medical doctor, an epidemiologist and a public health researcher, Bidyut’s area of expertise includes reproductive health, immunisation, surveillance, research and management of large scale projects. He comes with more than two decades of experience in communicable and non-communicable diseases including mental health. He has experience of working in multiple states of India, with a deep insight of the health systems at various levels in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Before joining IHAT, Bidyut worked for more than a decade with WHO India and was also a National Team Leader for its National Polio Surveillance Project. He also served as the National Coordinator for Polio Outbreak response in Papua New Guinea for WHO’s Western Pacific Regional Office. He has multiple research publications in high impact international journals including The Lancet, Thorax, Heart, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Addiction, Psychopharmacology and Nicotine & Tobacco Research. He is also a reviewer for journals like PLOS One, BMC Public Health, the WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health and Indian Journal of Medical Research.

He has a doctorate in Epidemiology and Public health from University College London, United Kingdom.

Our Team

Colonel Sameer Kanwar (Retd.)

Director, Information & Communications Technology

Sameer Kanwar leads the Information & Communications Technology portfolio for the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). Sameer leads the efforts towards introduction and use of technology for UP TSU, and provides technical expertise and support to the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP), specifically to the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Mission, Uttar Pradesh. Sameer leads a team of experts who build systems, software applications and adapt technology to help GoUP in effective service delivery, monitoring & evaluation.

Sameer has over 3 decades of experience in the Information and Communication Technology domain and has been a part of strategic think-tanks for adoption of technology across different verticals.  He visions to integrate digital innovations with problem solving, leading to efficient and self-responsive systems. His areas of expertise include strategic planning, design, adoption and implementation of cross-cutting technologies across different programs in an integrated manner to achieve continuum of care.

Before joining IHAT, Sameer was heading the National Nutrition Resource Centre, Tata Trusts, which was supporting the Ministry of Women and Child Development in implementation of Government of India’s flagship Nutrition Programme – Poshan Abhiyaan. Sameer had also steered his own start-up in digital space for five years. He has also served the Indian Army for more than 20 years, in various capacities, heralding the training aspects of communication and information technology at the forefront. He has authored/co-authored papers on implementation of enterprise networks and use of data by defense forces across varied geo-political scenarios and conflict zones.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics & Communications from Jawaharlal University, Delhi and a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyala, Madhya Pradesh. He also has certifications in Data Science, Project Management and Smart Cities.

Our Team

Mr. Govinda Raju

Director, Finance

Govinda Raju leads the financial functions for all projects being implemented by IHAT and works in close coordination with the respective project finance heads, Board of Trustees and the donors. His major responsibilities include program budgeting, fund management, overseeing of accounting activities across the projects, coordinating audits, ensuring statutory compliances and donor compliances including financial reporting to donors.

His areas of expertise include financial planning, budget management, fund management, accounting, developing financial policies and processes, internal controls, statutory compliances, financial reporting, coordinating and addressing internal & external audits and capacity building of finance team and partners. He is well versed with various accounting and HR softwares.
Raju has over 25 years experience in the field of finance and accounts with various corporates and International non government organisations. His last assignment was with a Singapore based group serving rural communities in Uttar Pradesh with renewable energy as Director and Head of Finance, managing the finance and compliances of the group companies in India and Singapore. During his 16 years’ career in the development sector, he has contributed to development of financial policies and procedures, building finance teams, effectively managing the budgets, ensured timely statutory compliances and grants. He is a member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWA) and holds a degree in Commerce from the Berhampur University.

Our Team

Mr. Sandeep Srivastava

Director, Operations

Sandeep Srivastava leads the Operations team for Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). Sandeep has over 18 years of policy, technical and senior management experience with national and international organisations in the development sector. He has demonstrated program management skills in delivery of large scale multi sector reform programs focusing on health, nutrition, water & sanitation including family planning and community approaches.

Sandeep has worked extensively with two of the most populated states in India providing technical support to governments on health systems reforms. His core skills and expertise are in financial procedures, statutory compliances and audits; human resource management; strengthening procurement, supply chain and inventory control; resource planning and budgeting. He also has a strong insight on use of ICT for healthcare and in the past has also designed project for providing health care serviced using technology in hard to reach areas. He is known for driving operational, financial and programmatic transformations in the sector.

Before taking over as Director – Operations, Sandeep was leading the Health Systems Strengthening portfolio at UP TSU. He began work in the development sector with SIFPSA, USAID assisted intervention in Uttar Pradesh, and later as the Director, Programme Management for the DFID, UK supported programme – Sector Wide Approach to Strengthening Health (SWASTH) in Bihar. He was the Head of Finance & Operations at Janani, an affiliate of DKT International a Washington DC based organization, was also the Team Leader for Technical Support for HR and Financial Management to UNICEF in Bihar. His work includes support in setting up non-profit organisation (both India and US entity) and setting up separate entity for procurement within the government setup. He has also worked on projects funded by donor agencies such as Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He is a graduate in commerce with specialisation in advanced accounts & management from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and a Professional Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He also holds a fellowship on “Financial Sustainability for donor funded programmes” from The Asian Centre for Population & Community Development, Bangkok, Thailand. He has co-authored publications on system strengthening on better governance, on Women Led Community Empowerment for improved Nutrition, Health and WASH outcomes. He also presented the innovative approach using the SHG Platform: Gram Varta – Women’s Group Led Community Empowerment Model for Improved Nutrition, Health, Sanitation and Hygiene outcomes in Bihar at Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management, held in Malaysia 2016.

Our Team

Dr. Sanjiv Kumar

Sr. Deputy Director, Non First Referral Units

Dr Sanjiv Kumar leads the clinical program in Non First Referral Units portfolio for the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). In this role, Sanjiv provides technical expertise and support to the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health mission under Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP). Sanjiv is leading a large team and helps GoUP to plan, implement and evaluate reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health initiatives of the state. These interventions are essential for ensuring that women and children have the opportunity to achieve the highest standard of health.

With over 14 years of experience in health and nutrition, Sanjiv’s areas of expertise include Maternal, Newborn and Child Health program with focus on designing and implementing Facility and community based intervention such as Facility and home based newborn care intervention, MNH intervention at intrapartum and immediate postpartum period and Routine Immunisation strengthening. He successfully led the Nurse mentoring program and helped government to scale up the intervention from 100 block level facilities to 820 block level facilities and district Hospitals.

 

Prior to joining IHAT, Sanjiv worked with Save the Children as a Newborn and Child health specialist and provided technical support in implementation of facility and community based newborn care in UP and Bihar. He also worked as the Divisional Health and Nutrition consultant at UNICEF and provided technical support to GoUP in the field of child health including immunisation, maternal health, newborn health, nutrition and sanitation. He has also contributed immensely to the public health and development sector during his association with prominent organisations like USAID – Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, ICMR International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Association and Indian Council of Medical Research. Sanjiv has received his MBBS degree from Mysore Medical College, Mysore and completed his MD (Community Medicine) from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow.

Our Team

Dr. Ravi Prakash

Sr. Deputy Director, Monitoring & Evaluation and Operations Research

Dr Ravi Prakash is Senior Deputy Director of Monitoring & Evaluation and Operations Research domain of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP-TSU). He provides strategic leadership on designing and delivering community and facility-based sample surveys as a support to the health programs of Government of Uttar Pradesh. He has been playing a key role in establishing mechanisms to improve the quality of existing government data system, and supporting the inclusion of survey results in government decision-making processes. The data driven and information based systems converge with the developmental goals of the country and can accelerate the progress towards quality health care and sustainability.

A quantitative researcher with about more than a decade long experience in planning, designing, managing, and monitoring of large studies, Ravi has been instrumental in setting up monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems for large-scale interventions; and analysis of large data sets using sophisticated statistical techniques. Ravi has contributed significantly in the areas of sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, impact of community-based intervention on increasing the knowledge and contraceptive use and impact evaluation of community mobilisation and empowerment efforts in reducing STI/HIV-related risks and vulnerabilities among the key population, across various states in India.

 

Before joining IHAT, Ravi has served as a Director for Research and M&E at Karnataka Health Promotion Trust. He has also worked in research projects supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UKAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the national programs under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

 

Ravi has more than 50 peer reviewed publications in international and national journals, books, reports to his credit. He has also participated and presented his research work in more than 25 international and national conferences and scientific workshops. He earned his M.Phil and Ph.D in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.

Our Team

Dr. Seema Tandon

Deputy Director, Regional Resource Training Centre

Dr Seema Tandon leads the Regional Resource Training Centre (RRTC) project of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP-TSU) for strengthening of First Referral Units (FRUs) of 25 HPDs of Uttar Pradesh in context of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOC) services through an innovative academic partnership with government medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh. She is a National Expert for Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) for drafting guidelines in Maternal Death Surveillance Response, LaQshya, EmOC and Life Saving Anesthesia Skills (LSAS) trainings. These interventions play a critical role in improving the maternal and neonatal health indicators of the state.

A gynecologist by profession, Dr Seema Tandon has more than 25 years of experience in maternal health and family planning services. Her core areas of work include integrated clinical approach to Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCHA+) interventions and improvement of quality of care in service delivery. She has significantly contributed in developing guidelines, standards of practice, protocols, methods and indicators for FRU based interventions. A master trainer of different RMNCHA+ activities at all levels of service delivery, Dr Seema Tandon is well equipped with necessary clinical and training skills to develop capacities of different cadres of service providers at different levels of public health system.

 

Dr Seema Tandon has been associated with UP TSU since its inception in 2014 and has contributed immensely in the maternal health interventions. She played a significant role in conducting trainings on the Rolling Facility Survey strategy and supported the team in articulation of various means of verification to be used in the assessment of important maternal health indicators. She designed the concept and implementation strategy of RRTC network to improve management of maternal and newborn complications at FRUs in UP. Prior to working with IHAT, Dr Seema Tandon was associated with Population Services International as Senior Maternal Health Specialist. She has also served as Medical officer at Family Planning Association of India and as MCH officer in the ICMR project at King George’s Medical University, Lucknow. She has been an active member of Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) since 1985 and has publications on high risk pregnancy and a research paper on Strengthening of FRUs in All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AICOG 2020). She has been recognised and awarded at different platforms for her incredible work in maternal and public health. She received a letter of appreciation for her contribution in family planning services from Mr. Bill Gates and has been awarded for extraordinary work for Human Race by Lords of Planet. She did her MBBS and DGO from G.S.V.M Medical College, Kanpur and senior fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Institute of OBGY Osmania University, Hyderabad.

Our Team

Dr. Dhanunjaya Roy

Deputy Director, Community Outreach

Dr. Dhanunjaya Rao Chintada leads the Community Outreach portfolio of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) program for the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). He provides technical expertise and support to the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Mission, Uttar Pradesh in implementing community outreach interventions. The efforts in this direction are leading to improve the maternal and newborn health outcomes of the state.

A social scientist, with more than 17 years of experience, Dhanunjaya’s forte areas include program design, implementation, community mobilization, and advocacy in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention and care interventions with the Key Population and Orphan and Vulnerable Children, maternal, newborn & child health and community institution building.

 

Previously, Dhanunjaya has worked with national and international organisations across India such as, Government of Andhra Pradesh, CARE and Karnataka Health Promotion Trust. He served as the lead for South to North technical support unit, National AIDS and STI Control Program for Rajasthan. He has been awarded field leader fellowship in Public Health by Centre for Disease Control (CDC)/ USAID and PHMI and International Infectious Diseases & Global Health by the University of Manitoba (UOM), Canada. He has authored and co-authored several publications pertaining to implementing scale up HIV prevention. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Work from Jaipur National University, Jaipur.

Our Team

Dr. Brinda Frey

Deputy Director, Family Planning

Dr Brinda is the Deputy Director of Quality for Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). Brinda provides technical expertise to the Family Planning (FP) portfolio. She is responsible to support the interventions that strengthen the health facilities across Uttar Pradesh in FP service delivery. This also includes leading the capacity building aspect of the intervention.

A gynaecologist and a passionate advocate for family planning, Brinda has chosen the path of bringing social change in the public health sector. With more than 25 years of experience, she has led various projects aiming at quality improvement, capacity building, technical knowhow aspects of maternal & child health and family planning areas. She has provided leadership and mentoring for ensuring necessary technical standards to achieve desired results of health project.

Before taking up the role on quality enhancement, Brinda has been associated with IHAT as Family Planning Technical Specialist and Quality Assurance Engender Health. Previously, she has served in various capacities at Marie Stopes, Jhpiego India, World Health Organization, Women’s Health Project of PSI/India and Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India, to name a few. She has authored and co-authored various publications and contributed in the development of technical reference manuals on family planning methods and protocols for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Brinda has received first prize for innovative games for the integrated birth spacing project funded by USAID at the World Vision International’s Global Centre Health and Nutrition Face to Face meeting in November 2010. She has also been awarded the 1st prize for video presentation at the 5th National Congress of Gynaecological Endoscopy in 1998. She was also invited by International Planned Parenthood Federation to present the experience of Integrating Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV/AIDS in a Reproductive and Sexual health/Family Planning setting (a Global UNFPA pilot project) – at the XV International HIV/AIDS Conference held in Bangkok in 2004. Brinda has done her MBBS and Diploma in Gynaecology and Obstetrics from G.S.V.M. Medical College, Kanpur and Fellowship in Gynaecological Endoscopy from Bombay Endoscopy Academy & Centre For Minimally, Mumbai.

Our Team

Dr. Vandana Singh

Deputy Director, Nurse Mentoring (FRU)

Dr Vandana Singh is leading the Nurse Mentoring intervention of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU).  She works in close collaboration with State National Health Mission (NHM) and Directorate of Family Welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh to improve the quality of care around maternal, new born and family planning services.

Her key areas of expertise are strengthening quality of service delivery by health facilities by setting up quality improvement processes, ensuring skill building of labor room service providers including complication detection and management along with respectful maternity care, developing mentoring modules for the nurse mentors and providing hands on mentoring and training on difficult to learn skills. She has been instrumental in and contributed to the development of the NBSU case sheet and register by the state NHM child health division. She supervised and assisted the State NHM in selection of the 1st batch of Midwifery Educators in 2019.

With a passion for public health, Vandana has more than 10 years of experience of working in the rural districts of UP in various capacities including Leprosy Elimination program and National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP), WHO as Surveillance Medical Officer in UP and SRTL Delhi.  In her current capacity, she is the Nodal officer from UP TSU for the Midwifery initiative in UP, member of National Technical Resource Group for LaQshya Sustainability, member of the ANC PNC Research Collaborative (ARC) by BMGF, contributor to the National ANC and Humanitarian Response Plan guidelines and certified Co-creator and master trainer of the Postpartum Hemorrhage Emergency Care using Bundle Approach Program developed by Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and MGIMS Sewagram.

Vandana received her MBBS degree from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore (Manipal Academy of Higher Education, MAHE University) and DNB from Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital and Research Centre (JLNHRC), Chhattisgarh.

Our Team

Dr. Vandana Naidu

Deputy Director, Nutrition

Dr. Vandana Naidu serves in the capacity of Deputy Director for the Nutrition Project of Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). She leads a dynamic team that is responsible for providing technical assistance to the government for strategic planning and implementation of programs on maternal, infant, young child nutrition, to engage and collaborate with government and development partners. She works in close coordination with the ICDS and Uttar Pradesh State Nutrition Mission and provides support to the nutrition initiatives in the state. These efforts play a critical role in contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

Vandana is a public health professional, with experience in strengthening systems for community and facility based, maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition (MNCHN) interventions. She is well experienced in providing technical assistance at district, state and national levels and quality improvement in identified processes related to MNCHN service delivery.

Her learnings in public health nutrition programming are drawn from experience with the Integrated Nutrition and Health Project (Care India), Vistaar project (Intrahealth International) and with Alive & Thrive (FHI 360). She has contributed to the design and development of the Quality Assurance component of the World Bank funded Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Strengthening Project and provided technical assistance for the Quality Improvement initiative of USAID/ASSIST in six Indian states. She also contributed to the development of the Draft State Health Policy of Uttar Pradesh.

Our Team

Sushant Jain

Deputy Director, Health Systems

Sushant Jain, as Deputy Director for Health Systems, works on strengthening the health systems for improving delivery of health services at Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU). He is responsible for accelerating the health system outcomes through policy interventions, system designing and restructuring. His work across UP TSU has spanned across human resource systems, medical supply chain management, strategic planning & financial management and Public Private Partnership initiatives. The health systems work is expected to ensure sustainable designs which can improve the availability, quality and utilization of services and help the state of Uttar Pradesh move faster towards the SDG goals.

Sushant’s area of expertise includes policy advocacy and strategic management of public health initiatives by working closely with senior leadership within government. His forte lies in incorporating a health systems approach to planning, implementation, and monitoring of improved health outcomes His leadership and problem solving skills along with technical proficiency establishes credibility within the stakeholder base and strengthens the policy to practice outcomes.

He started his career with Bain & Company in the corporate sector and has brought strategic thinking and management learnings from that experience. Sushant has also worked across the Agriculture sector in Africa (Ethiopia), where he was working with a federal level agency which reports to the Prime Minister. He has worked at UP TSU since 2013 and has donned multiple hats over the years and has developed a strong understanding of UP health systems. Sushant has also presented a paper titled ‘Sustaining visceral leishmaniasis elimination in Bangladesh – a policy brief’ at the 6th World Congress on Leishmaniasis in 2017. He has also co-authored an internationally accredited academic paper, titled ‘Old Age Home Organizer’, which was published and presented at the WASET (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology) conference in 2008. He has a Masters in Public Policy from University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

Our Team

Mr. Shashidharan K

Team Leader, KA TSU

Shashidharan is the Team Leader of Karnataka Technical Support Unit (KA TSU). Shashidharan provides programmatic expertise to the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DHFW), Government of Karnataka (GoK) for the NACP. He leads an enthusiastic team which is involved in supporting the TI program that are aimed at offering prevention and care services to the Key Population (Female Sex Workers, Male who have Sex with Men, People Who Inject Drugs, Truckers and Migrants) within communities by providing them with the information, means and skills they need to minimise HIV transmission and improving their access to care, support and treatment services. These endeavors form a critical part of country’s commitment towards achieving SDGs by 2030.

Shashidharan has an experience of more than 3 decades in the areas of HIV AIDS, economic sustainability, gender and behaviour change communication. He has an in depth and insightful experience of working with grassroots communities including youth, women and the Key Population. His core areas of expertise include project management, capacity building, micro enterprise & entrepreneurship development and rural business development. He has also imparted satellite based capacity building for functionaries of DHFW, GoK.

 

Previously, Shashidharan served as a lecturer at St. Philomena’s College, Mysore and later with Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, Karnataka in the capacity building portfolio. He has been a part of KA TSU in various capacities before joining as a Team Lead. Capacity Building, being his forte, Shashidharan has developed training modules on youth and women empowerment, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Self Help Groups and HIV/AIDS to name some. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Mangalore University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from the Madras University.

Our Team

Dr. Purnima Parmar

Team Leader, DL TSU

Purnima is the Team Leader of Delhi Technical Support Unit (DL TSU).  Purnima provides technical support to the TI program that offers prevention and care services to the Key Population (Female Sex Workers, Male who have Sex with Men, People Who Inject Drugs, Truckers and Migrants). She has played a significant role in planning, implementation and scaling up of virtual intervention and project spa wellness – which are innovative approaches specially designed for the hard-to-reach Key Population.

A medical professional with more than seven years of experience in public health, Purnima has spent a substantial time of her career in conceptualising, implementing and monitoring HIV programs. She has expertise in strategic planning, capacity building, documentation and program management.

Purnima served as a program officer for IHAT’s HIV program before joining as the Team Lead.  Previously, she has practiced as a Dentist.  She has provided technical inputs in operational research and best practices in the field of HIV. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Manipal University, Karnataka and a Post-graduate Diploma in Hospital Administration from Apollo Hospital, Hydrabad.

Our Team

Mr. Thirumalai Narayanan

State Program Lead

Thirumalai Narayanan leads the Madhya Pradesh Innovation Hub. In this role, Thirumalai leads the effort of partnering for public health innovations in Madhya Pradesh, this being first of its kind intervention within the existing Government Health System. He provides technical expertise in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent (RMNCH+A) Health, HIV, Tuberculosis and Health Systems Strengthening for the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) and National Health Mission (NHM) of Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP). Thirumalai leads a dynamic and innovative team embedded within DHS and works in close collaboration with the senior leadership of the government.

A development professional with a specialisation in hospital & health management, Thirumalai’s core competencies include intervention design, innovative capacity building techniques and monitoring & evaluation. With an expertise in the areas of RMNCH+A and Sexual & Reproductive Health, Thirumalai has  implemented sector-specific interventions with a human centric approach in addressing the public health challenges across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Gujarat.

 

Before joining the innovation hub in Madhya Pradesh, Thirumalai was associated with IHAT’s Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP TSU), where he led two rounds of the Rolling Facility Survey across Uttar Pradesh – one of the significant concurrent monitoring systems of the UP TSU.    He has also worked with CARE India, Pathfinder International and Nutrition International and contributed immensely in the health sector.  He holds a Postgraduate Degree in Health & Hospital Management from the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur and Bachelors of Physiotherapy from the Tamil Nadu Government Medical University.