Dr Meenakshi Gautham
Health Systems and Policy Analysis
I joined LSHTM in April 2012 as the India Country Coordinator of the IDEAS project, a 5 year Gates Foundation funded measurement, learning and evaluation project in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), implemented by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in Ethiopia, India (Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) and North East Nigeria. Since November 2015 I have been part of the Merck for Mothers study team at the LSHTM, researching the private health sector in maternal healthcare in Uttar Pradesh. Currently I am also the Principal Investigator of a study on antibiotic use by informal private healthcare providers in the state of West Bengal in India. This study is funded by the joint MRC/ESRC/Wellcome Trust/ DFID Health Systems Research Initiative.
Prior to working with LSHTM I was a post-doctoral fellow (2008-2012) with the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands, and the Micro Insurance Academy in New Delhi, working on health services research to support development of micro health insurance programs in low income communities. I completed my PhD at LSHTM (Public Health and Policy) in 2006. Before that I worked as India Programme Manager with Intrahealth International (1997-2001).
I have been a DL tutor on Practical Epidemiology (EPM 103), part of the M.Sc Epidemiology distance learning course, and also on Control of Infectious Diseases (IDM 104). I supervise M.Sc students’ field projects in India.
My health systems research interests are broad and crosscutting. They include the private health sector, informal healthcare providers, rural health services, maternal and child health, equity and quality of healthcare, mobile health applications for low resource settings, and a growing interest in antimicrobial resistance. On the IDEAS project, I have been engaged in coordinating and participating in research on the interface between MNCH innovations, interactions between frontline health workers and rural communities, and the resulting changes in the coverage of life saving interventions. My special interest lies in the private health sector in MNCH. With the Merck team I am investigating the ‘nature of competition in the private health sector in maternal health’ in Uttar Pradesh.
My interest in the private health sector extends to the informal private sector that includes unqualified and unlicensed biomedical healthcare providers. My work in the past has contributed to profiling informal health markets in different parts of India, and I am now studying the ‘social, economic and behavioural drivers of antibiotic use by informal providers’ in rural West Bengal.