Dr Meenakshi Gautham
Health Systems and Policy Analysis
15-17 Tavistock Place
My work focuses on pluralistic health systems in low resource settings. 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. I currently lead a 'One Health' research team that is engaged in developing a novel antibiotic stewardship intervention in rural West Bengal in India. This intervention focuses on informal private providers for human and animal health, and their relationships and networks with the formal public and private health system, the pharmaceutical industry and rural communities. The study is funded through the Health Systems Research Initiative (HSRI) of MRC/ESRC/DFID/Wellcome Trust and builds on an earlier exploratory study of the drivers of antibiotic use in the same setting. I am also a Co-investigator on a study of 'SMART regulation of antibiotic use in India: understanding, innovating and improving compliance'. This study is led by the University of Edinburgh, UK and the V.P Chest Institute in New Delhi, India. It is funded by the Newton-Bhabha Fund for addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India.
I joined LSHTM in April 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 was the PI of 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 Distance Learning 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 informal ‘street medicine’ providers, the formal health sector and the pharmaceutical industry in order to catalyse positive disruptions in these linkages. Current interests also include exploring the potential of participatory methodologies to manage diverse stakeholders in co-designing innovative interventions and regulations. I lead a private health sector research interest group at LSHTM. I am also on the Advisory Board of SNAP-AMR, a study led by the University of Glasgow to provide novel insights into the biological, cultural and social drivers of AMR in the hospital and community setting in Tanzania.