Advance Awards Alumni Category Finalist
Working to shift the health paradigm in war-torn countries and disaster response situations, Dr Vandana Joshi is showing the world that good governance and community engagement are by far the most effective strategies to promote health. Whether tending to tuberculosis patients in Kashmir, leading teams in the tsunami-affected Andaman Islands or establishing community-based screening for malnourished children in South Sudan, Vandana’s impact remains holistic. She believes public health strategy must integrate local wisdom and resources to create strong and sustainable community-based response systems, beyond the assistance of external aid.
Dr. Vandana Joshi’s 30 year pathway to impact began with her appointment as a Lady Asst Surgeon (Medical officer). With an AusAID scholarship, she studied a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Since then, she has worked with many preeminent global health organisations UNICEF, CARE, AED and the WHO. Her courage in the ‘Ebola Red Zone’ of Sierra Leone saw her awarded TIME person of the year in 2014, awarded collectively to the Ebola Response Team; honouring their fight against a deadly 100% infection rate and the biggest health crisis in the world at the time. Vandana’s recent work in Bhutan as the UNICEF Chief for Health, Nutrition, HIV and WASH saw Vandana making significant headway to achieving zero mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Most recently she is helping to build community resilience and paving a path for ‘malnutrition free’ South Sudan.