Dr Meenakshi Gautham
Health Systems and Health Policy
15-17 Tavistock Place
My work focuses on pluralistic health systems and health policies in agricultural community settings where the first contact for healthcare is very often in the informal sector. I am exploring ways of navigating the challenges and opportunities inherent in these systems in order to operationalise antimicrobial stewardship and strengthen universal health coverage, for human and veterinary health. I lead the HSRI/MRC funded OASIS study to design a One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Intervention in rural India, working with informal health providers and paravets, the formal public health and veterinary health systems, the pharmaceutical industry and rural communities. We have an expanding group of One Health researchers from other countries of Asia and Africa seeking to accelerate the development and testing of One Health interventions that address global health and food security. Other research projects include a study of regulations for AMR in India (Co-I) and designing a novel integrated approach for more precise detection and management of RTIs/STIs towards reduction of antibiotic overtreatment of women care seekers (PI).
I joined LSHTM in 2012 as the India Country Coordinator of IDEAS, a 5-year Gates Foundation funded measurement, learning and evaluation project in maternal, newborn and child health, implemented by LSHTM in Ethiopia, India (Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) and North East Nigeria. In 2015 I joined the Merck for Mothers study team at LSHTM, researching the private health sector in maternal healthcare in Uttar Pradesh. From 2016-18 I led an HSRI study exploring the social, economic and behavioural drivers of antibiotic use by informal private healthcare providers in West Bengal, India. 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. 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 am a tutor on LSHTM M.Sc courses including Health Policy, Process and Power (PHM 109), and Control of Infectious Diseases (IDM 104). I supervise student dissertations (M.Sc) based on field research projects in health systems, maternal and child health and AMR. Students of the ‘One Health’ M.Sc, jointly offered by LSHTM and the Royal Veterinary College in London, are especially interested in conducting fieldwork in the India study sites.
My research interests include the private health sector, drivers of antibiotic use and of AMR, and universal health coverage. I am particularly interested in the politics of interdependencies between ‘street medicine’ and the formal health sector and in exploring the potential of participatory methodologies in inclusive policy design. Another research strand is to develop more precise algorithms for RTI/STI management in women by integrating Point of Care tests and mental health screening in syndromic management guidelines.