Master Studies

Masters Student: Anupama Hazarika

University of Oxford - Masters in Global Health Science
2009 – 2010

I completed my Master’s in Global Health Science from the University of Oxford in 2010, through the PHFI-UKC Wellcome Trust Capacity Building Programme (WTP). The Oxford experience has been unique for its very essence is the collegiate system that allows a student social life beyond the realms of Public Health. In the Department I was mentored by the Greats of Public Health on Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Policy and International Development while during after classes I had regular interactions with the Greats in the field of Poetry, Literature, Classical Music, Politics, Arts and also less travelled fields like Greek History. It was an experience to cherish and the period has remained close to my heart.

During my tenure as an Assistant Professor in the Training Division of PHFI, I have had the opportunity and freedom to bring and develop my own projects, design curriculums and modules for training programs custom made for States of India. In all these endeavors, I have always tried to emulate the teaching styles of my mentors. Their ease, approachability and simplicity in making students understand even the most complicated subjects has left an immense impression, which I hope to replicate. I intend to use and hone the skills learnt while at Oxford during my future endeavors here at PHFI including Epidemiology, Statistics and STATA, while Health Policy and Global Health Challenges continue to be helpful throughout my career as a Public Health Specialist.

Masters Student: Binay Kumar

University of Leeds - Masters in International Health
2009 – 2010

I attended the MPH programme at the University of Leeds that was specifically designed for international participants.  It was great learning environment as the class was full of people with variety of experiences in various settings.  Majority of the class was from the African subcontinent and hence the discussions and cross learning was quite relevant and apt.

The content of the course was very intense and kept us quite busy almost for the entire duration of the course.  The teaching was classroom intensive which provided good opportunity for discussions and debates within the class.The teaching staff was very cooperative and helpful.

As part of the course we were taken to the WHO Headquarters in Geneva which was a great opportunity to interact with senior people working in WHO and getting a better understanding of the organization and working of WHO. It was also a great opportunity to explore and see Geneva.

I am currently located at the State Institute of Health Management and Communication (SIHMC) in Gwalior for past one year.  SIHMC is a apex training institute for the State of Madhya Pradesh located far from the state headquarters.  I am majorly responsible for technically supporting the delivery of Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health Management being run in collaboration with IIPH Delhi.  Apart from teaching, I am involved in research projects being conducted in collaboration with colleagues located at IIPH Delhi and have written and submitted several grant proposals.  I have published two research articles in international journals since my return from UK and one has been submitted. I have been part of curriculum development for distance learning programmes being conducted through IIPH Delhi.  Although I am located at Gwalior but most of my non-teaching work involvement has been at IIPH Delhi.  I am also a part of several committees at SIHMC and have been providing technical support in local trainings conducted by SIHMC for the health staff of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Masters Student: Shravan Kumar

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - Masters in Public Health
2009 – 2010

Pursuing academics at LSHTM offers you multi faceted advantages. Some of them are:

  1. Its multicultural, multiregional and multisectoral environment.
  2. Highly experienced, knowledgeable and friendly staff
  3. Students from different parts of the world with varied backgrounds.
  4. Tailor made modules with focus on developing and developed countries.
  5. Structured curriculum with an appropriate mixture of theory and practice.

 After completing the course, one would invariably agree that the entire course duration at the school was packed with information and opportunities to learn new things. The course is so structured that the students are educated about various thematic areas of public health and provided with skills required to understand, plan, manage and implement the programs.

I am currently working as Asst. Professor at IIPH – Delhi, seconded to HIV/AIDS project at PHFI, supported by BMGF as Program Manager (PM). As a PM, I am supporting National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in strengthening the HIV/AIDS prevention and control program in India. Specifically, I support the Targeted Intervention (TI) division, in its capacity building initiatives and manage 17 State Training and Resource Centers (STRCs) across the country to roll out training programs for ~42,000 staff members working in 1600+ TIs.

I use the key learnings acquired from the school in my day to day operations. For example:

  1. Develop modules and train STRC staff on key components of STI/HIV/AIDS prevention. Conduct evidence based research to assess quality of the and / or evaluate interventions.
  2. Development of operational guidelines.
  3. Support STRCs/SACS/TSUs in development of learning sites.
  4. Design robust monitoring systems and evaluate the information to strengthen the program.
  5. Systematic review and development of tools. For ex: Training Needs Assessment, Training Impact Assessments and others across the country       .
  6. Ensure practice of adult learning principles by all STRCs while disseminating trainings at state level.

Masters Student: Rajesh Nair

Cambridge University - Masters in Public Health
2009 - 2010

The FFP support through PHFI-Wellcome Trust enabled me to attended M.Phil in Public Health course in year 2010-2011 at Institute of Public Health & Primary Care (IPH), University of Cambridge, U.K. The entire experience was knowledgeable and transformative for me and shaped my future public health engagements with a renewed perspective.

After returning from IPH, I have joined Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPHG) as a faculty. At IIPHG I am engaged in number of academic and research activities. As faculty I teach modules on Health Promotion & Communications, Health Psychology as part of Social & Behavioural Sciences, Equity & Access to Health care Services to PGDPHM course participants. I am also academic coordinator for PGDPHM course at IIPHG. Apart from this I am State Coordinator for BMGF supported STEPS (Strengthening of Tobacco control Efforts through innovative Partnerships and Strategies) project. Also I am contributing in qualitative research under MATIND project with an objective to evaluate two large-scale innovative pro-poor programs focused on reducing maternal mortality in India. Along with colleague at IIPHG Mr. Somen Saha, I am co-investigator in WTP supported study on ‘Impact of credit with health access on health status of MFI clients in India: Study of MFI programs at different levels of integration’. I am also involved in organising various Short Term Training programs along with colleagues at IIPHG and Gujarat State AIDS Control Society. The learning at IPH has specifically helped in the development of my skills and interest in publication & presentation of research activities. Following are the details of my published work post year 2010.

Masters Student: Srinivas Nallala

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine - M.Sc. in International Public Health Programme
2009 – 2010

Advantages of studying at LSTM, UK:

  1. Experienced teaching faculty
  2. Minimal number of students with greater focus on individual student
  3. Unique opportunity t
  4. work with an NGO in Malawi, Africa for summer project
  5. Well balanced curriculum with equal importance to theory and practicum

Current use of knowledge and skills learnt from the Masters course:

Key learnings from the Masters course:

  1. A very good understanding on all the subjects under International Public Health
  2. A thorough understanding of research methodologies and practices, specifically qualitative research
  3. Understanding and skills in systematic reviews and evidence based research studies

Following are the areas and methods on how I am utilizing the learnings from the school in my current position:

  1. Actively contributing to development of teaching curriculum, development of research proposals and trainings at IIPHB.
  2. Currently teaching project management, social sciences in health and qualitative research – predominantly adapting the teaching methodologies of the school and the key learnings from the esteemed professors of LSTM.
  3. Applying social sciences perspective to improve health outcomes.
  4. I am also utilizing the research knowledge and skills gained from the course by actively involving in the following research studies as Co-PI.
  5. Factors influencing retention of health personnel in rural and remote areas of Odisha.
  6. Charting existing career pathways for doctors working in government health systems in Odisha to enable policy makers for modifying the career pathways.
  7. Public consequences of folic acid deficiency.

In these researchstudies, I am actively involved in designing and developing the proposal, tools for data collection, field work and data analysis.

Masters Student: Preeti Negandhi

University of Edinburgh - Msc in Public Health Research
2009 - 2010

WTP Masters experience:

  1. Completed MSc (Public Health Research) from University of Edinburgh, Scotland in September 2010.
  2. Course work: Well-organized curriculum, good teaching techniques, efficient faculty, cooperative administrative staff. Good occasion for learning experiences of students from various countries.
  3. Dissertation: Ethnic differences in control of diabetes in Scotland. A secondary analysis of data from the Scottish Care Information – Diabetes Collaboration database was carried out.

Work profile at PHFI:

  1. Teaching epidemiology and biostatistics to diploma students at IIPH Delhi and SIHMC, Gwalior.
  2. Also actively engaged in coordinating the Post Graduate Diploma Program in Epidemiology (distance learning) and am leading a module.
  3. Leading a PHFI-UKC WTP funded project titled 'An evaluation of the Post Graduate Diploma Program in Public Health Management'.
  4. Have supervised dissertations of 4 students at SIHMC Gwalior in 2011 and am supervising dissertations of 3 students at SIHMC and 1 student at IIPH Delhi in 2012.
  5. Have also coordinated two trainings at IIPH Delhi (IDSP-FETP training in 2011 and Case Control Studies workshop in 2012).
  6. Involved in an IOM-affiliated project titled 'Building interdisciplinary leadership skills among health professionals in the 21st century: an innovative training model'.

Utilizing Masters experience:

  1. Collaborating with UK partners – good prospects for projects.
  2. Teaming up with my UK supervisor for publication of my MSc project work.
  3. Applying various pedagogy techniques learnt at UK in classroom teaching at IIPHD and SIHMC.
  4. This enriching experience has expanded the scope for improved public health activities in the future.

Masters Student: Danish Ahmad

Oxford University,Wolfson College - Masters in Global Health Sciences
2010 – 2011

The Masters course at Oxford involved a three month dissertation period during which I used seconday data to conduct research into my project titled Relative Inequalities in all Cause and Cause Specific Mortality for Electoral Wards in England.

Aims: This study has been conducted to quantify and further assess the impact of relative deprivation on health at small area level in England using deprivation indices.

Methods: Deprivation has been quantified at small area (ward) level using a deprivation index (Carstairs) for the region, and the difference of the modulus of this score for a ward and the average score of its surrounding wards provides a measure of the relative deprivation measure. These exposure variables were assessed for impact on all cause and cause specific mortality for both males and females in all 7,933 standard table wards in England.

Results: Results demonstrate statistically significant impact of relative deprivation on mortality for both male and females at ward level in England, even after adjusting for the absolute deprivation level in a ward.. The deprivation indices account for 31 per cent in the variability towards All-Cause mortality for males. Interestingly the association between mortality and deprivation is consistently lower for females across all outcomes. For female All-Cause mortality only 18 per cent variation is explained by the effects of the deprivation indices. Consistent results between the variation in impact of deprivation on mortality between the absolute and deprivation score were also found. Furthermore, by stratifying the analysis, the association holds true for both affluent and deprived wards that show a rich ward surrounded by a poor ward has worse health outcome as compared to a rich ward surrounded by other rich wards.

Conclusion: Quantifying the impact of relative deprivation on health using the deprivation indices is a valid and reproducible method that measures the size of inequalities between a ward and its neighbour and supports the hypothesis that level of social inequality has an impact on all individuals within the society. These results address key limitations in the discussion regarding impact of income inequalities on health, and contribute by clearly quantifying the effect of relative mortality on the outcomes.

Masters Student: Sukarma Tanwar

Institution:                           London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - Masters in Public Health
Period:                                   2010-2011

On completion of my basic training as a Medical Doctor, I opted for a Master degree (Masters in Medicine – STI/HIV) at Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STRIC) University of Sydney. On completion of this course at STRIC, I joined the National Aids Control Organizations (NACO), Ministry of Health Government of India.

During my tenure at NACO, I was fortunate to be selected by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Wellcome Trust for the M.Sc. in Public Health (Health Service Management) at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine under the future faculty training programme. During the course I was able to grasp true dimension of Public Health – major issues and concerns. My one year at this school has provided me with a profound understanding of the complexities of establishing and monitoring Public Health programmes and the reasons of why Public Health management is so crucial.

As a part of my summer project, I prepared a policy document on the issue of a sustainable HIV programme for India. The issue of whether a ‘parallel’ or a ‘stand alone’ programme would be more sustainable in a country like has been in debate for a long time. Especially with the government’s initiative to ensure universal access to care through its flagship programme of National Rural Health Mission this debate has become even more crucial.

For this a qualitative study was undertaken and nine semi- structured interviews were conducted besides extensive literature review. On the basis of the interview findings key themes were identified and inputs from the experts were discussed under relevant themes. Key recommendations prepared were on the basis of interview findings supported with relevant literature.

Masters Student: Nayan Chakravarty

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - Masters in Public Health Management
2010 – 2011

During my Masters in Public Health (Health Services Management Stream) from LSHTM, London, this particular study was undertaken.

The main aim of the study was to identify social determinants effecting the implementation of government run Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme in the state of Maharashtra, India.

The objectives were: 1) Explore the effectiveness of the ICDS programme on children below 6 years, among different sub-groups. 2) To explore the social barriers affecting the implementation of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program & 3) To come up with relevant policy recommendations, to overcome the barriers to the successful implementation of the programme.

Methods: A review of the literature was performed. Different stakeholders of ICDS programme were also interviewed for this purpose. Interviews were conducted from multiple stakeholders, which included interviewing people from government as well as non government. As the subject is relatively less researched, there has been a necessity to draw information through grey literature from the government websites, reports from non-government, The World Bank and UN agencies also.

Results: Implementation of ICDS programme for children below 6 years is affected by some social determinants. There is evidence that caste, religion, residence and wealth index, influence access and coverage of children below 6 years in ICDS programme. Gender and Mothers education has no influence on access to ICDS services, where as there is some evidence to show that disability and years of ICDS services has some influence on access.

Conclusion and Discussions: The study highlights some of the important social determinants that are affecting the access and coverage of the programme and some determinants having limited influence. Not many studies have been taken up on this issue of social determinants and implementation of ICDS programme in Maharashtra, India. However interviewing some of the mothers of children accessing or not accessing ICDS services would have provided some more depth into the study.

Masters Student: Jyoti Sharma

University of Edinburgh - M.Sc. Public Health Research
2010 – 2011

Health care workers are the most important part of any health system. Work related illness, injuries, stress and burnout affect the both physical and mental health of health care workers (HCWs). The evidence from developed countries showed worksite initiatives to for occupational health (OH) and wellness of HCWs help in improving the health and wellbeing. But, in low and middle income countries OH of HCWs largely remained ignored. Present study Aimed to critically review the available scientific evidence related to OH of HCWs in low and middle income countries to get a comprehensive view on problems related physical, mental and emotional health issues and impact of wellness initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of HCWs. The available literature from South Asia and Africa was obtained using well designed search strategy. The quality of the studies was then appraised and results were combined using textual narrative synthesis. Altogether 80 studies of varied design and focus were included. The studies were heterogeneous and varied significantly in quality. The two types of work related issues emerged one, work related injuries and illness and second, health and wellness of HCWs. Findings of this study highlight that in developing countries OH of HCWs is still limited to protection from injuries and illness and largely remained ignored in health care system reform. The HCWs in low and middle income countries work in extremely challenging conditions and the state of fragile OH services for health workers varies considerable across different countries and regions. In Africa the focus on occupational health of HCWs is increased following AIDS epidemic but, in south Asia this issue still not able to catch the focus of policy makers and remain neglected. There is urgent need to set research priorities in this area and also need to design evidence based OH policies to develop healthy workplaces.