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Evidence, Decision Making and Policy for COVID-19

Ashoka University and The George Institute for Global Health, India (TGI) have come together to organise a virtual symposium on public health on November 9, 2020 from 03:00 PM IST - 05:00 pm IST.

Office of PR & Communications

6 November, 2020 | 4 min read

Ashoka University and The George Institute for Global Health are organising a joint virtual symposium on public health. This symposium is the first of a planned series of symposia on public health and policy in India. It aims to discuss the role of research evidence in decision making in healthcare and its use in informing policy and practice, concentrating on the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The 2 hour-long meeting will comprise of enriching talks and interactive discussions on 4 core areas:

 1. Understanding results from national serosurveys,

2. COVID-19 Epidemiology,

 3. Clinical aspects of COVID-19, and 

4. Health Policy in COVID-19.

 Distinguished experts from the government and academia are being invited to talk on the various sub-themes at the symposium. The talks will be followed by a panel discussion with the eminent speakers


Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar, MD (Preventive and Social Medicine), PhD (Epidemiology), PGDBE (Bioethics) works as Scientist E at ICMR–National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai, India. He provides leadership and serves as faculty for the master’s and doctoral programs offered by the ICMR School of Public Health at ICMR-NIE. His research interests include epidemiological methods, HIV prevention research, epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases, cohort studies, implementation research, and evaluation of public health strategies/programs.

Dr. Brian Wahl is an epidemiologist and faculty member in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has a broad interest in the relationship between health systems and infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries. His research focuses on understanding the changing epidemiology of pediatric respiratory diseases in the context of new health interventions. He currently leads field studies and disease burden/transmission modeling projects focused on measuring the impact of new vaccines in multiple countries in South Asia. He is affiliated with the International Vaccine Access Center and the Center for Global Health at the School of Public Health. Dr. Wahl has been based in India and Nepal for more than a decade.

Dr. Priscilla Rupali is Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Deputy Chair of Hospital Infection Control at Christian Medical College Vellore. She is acclaimed for her Transplant Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial stewardship. Dr. Rupali is also the Coordinator for the highly acclaimed Annual International Short Course in Tropical Medicine being held at CMC Vellore every year. She is also the Founder of the “Transplant Infectious Diseases” conference in India. She is a pioneer in initiating First fellowship in General Infectious Diseases in India. She has  70 Publications; 10 Abstracts; 1 Module, 6 Chapters created. 

Dr. Rajani R. Ved, is a public health practitioner, who till recently, was Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Center, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India and a Visiting Scientist, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For over ten years in NHSRC she led the establishment and institutionalization of India’s ASHA- programme, and the design and implementation support for India’s flagship primary health care initiative -Ayushman Bharat; Health and Wellness Centers.   Her expertise spans policy development, implementation research; technical support to strengthen health systems, design and evaluation of large-scale health programmes. She has a medical degree from Madras University and a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University.


Program Schedule

 1501 – 1506hoursWelcome Remarks
Prof. L.S.Shashidhara, Professor and Dean (Research),
Ashoka University

1506 – 1511 hoursSpecial Remarks
Dr. Shahid Jameel, Director, Trivedi School for BioSciences,
Ashoka University

1513 – 1619 hoursPanel Talk:
Moderated by Dr. Soumyadeep Bhaumik, Research Fellow (Policy Impact),
The George Institute for Global Health, India

 1513 – 1528 hoursUnderstanding Results from National Serosurveys
Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar, Scientist E,
ICMR  – National Institute of Epidemiology, India

 1530 – 1545 hours 

COVID-19 Epidemiology
Prof. Brian Wahl Epidemiologist and Faculty Member,
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health, USA

 1547 – 1602 hours

 Evidence Synthesis for Clinical Management of COVID-19
Dr. Priscilla Rupali,
Professor (Department of Infectious Diseases), Deputy Chair
(Hospital Infection Control), Christian Medical College, India

 1604 – 1619 hours

 What Constitutes Evidence during a Public Health Crisis? Challenges for Policy and Programmes
Dr. Rajani R. Ved, Public Health Practitioner and Ex-Executive Director,
National Health Systems Resource Center, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
Government of India

1620 – 1655 hours

Panel Discussion:
Moderated by Prof. Gautam Menon, 
Professor of Physics and Biology, Ashoka University

1655 – 1700 hoursConcluding Remarks
Prof. Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director,
The George Institute for Global Health, India                                                         

Register here for the webinar

If you have any questions or queries regarding this webinar, please reach out to us: 

Dr. Anjali Taneja

Associate Director – Science Policy Initiative,

Office of Research, Ashoka University

Email: anjali.taneja@ashoka.edu.in

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