If Hospitals No Longer Make Sense, India is Ahead of the Game

Keeping Community-Based Care a Priority In the field of maternal health there has been a big shift towards increasing access to tertiary care. This was important as the majority of maternal deaths were due to causes that could only be dealt with by specialists. But, increasing access to hospital-based care can seem like a fraught […]

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Can India Solve America’s Health Care Crisis? (For Real!)

Taking India’s Health Care Successes to America: A Review of Reverse Innovation in Health Care by Vijay Govindarajan and Ravi Ramamurti   The US has always marketed itself as the country that has all the answers, although these days that idea is harder to sell. The US health care system, however, has been in crisis for […]

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Why you Should Never Call “the Expert”

You are safer in the hands of an inexperienced doctor… You may have seen an article that came out a couple of years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association about how mortalities among heart patients reduced during national cardiology conferences – when all the senior-most doctors were away (if you didn’t you […]

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We are Immune to Numbers: The Importance of Story Telling

Public health is a very data-driven field. And yet, in India, the numbers are so huge and so startling that we quickly become desensitized to them. We have a population of 1.3 billion people, with 35.7% children underweight (NFHS 2015-6). Once you have accepted this reality, the numbers will no longer move you. Apparently, this […]

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From Sri Lanka with Love: Lessons in Primary Care for Remote Rural Australia

  Last week I visited Rangiri primary health care centre in Dambulla district, Sri Lanka, with a group of Australian GPs who were there for a continuing medical education program. We were all impressed. The facility had a lovely kitchen garden with cassava, brinjal, leafy greens and chillis. It was clean, well maintained, and full of […]

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Parks for Healthier Communities

In this post, I highlight research that identifies the population health benefits of public parks and being outside in nature generally. It includes photos from my friend & award-winning photographer Cop Shiva, taken in Lalbagh, Bangalore’s botanical gardens.   I don’t think I am the only one, who, when I close my eyes and think of my […]

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How being a working mum makes me a better professional (and a better mum)

I love my work and I love being a mother. When I stop and think about what I am really grateful for, the main thing is to be a happy working mum. Not only that, we have evidence to suggest that being a parent can help you be a better professional, and working makes you […]

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Designing for Data Use

  This blogpost is based on a talk I gave at the Evaluation Community of India’s recent “EvalFest” at the Indian Habitat Centre in February. It advocates for using “user-centred” approaches for promoting data use, including understanding-  and even creating – new influence pathways. It also highlights that different decisions have specific information needs and these should […]

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MORE THAN THIS? Getting more bang from your buck for training

How to get more bang for your buck with one-time training programs   We know that one-time training courses are seldom sufficient to build workplace knowledge and skills. People get trained and then return to their workplaces and often don’t get a chance to use the skills they learned, don’t have the confidence or authority […]

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Kicking Up Health Worker Motivation and Engagement

One of the most common problems I see working in the public health system is depleted motivation and engagement. It’s a fundamental challenge to creating and maintaining a strong and responsive public sector. The causes for this vary: lack of formal incentives, an unappreciative organizational culture and an ossified bureaucracy. But the impact is singular: poor […]

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