Dr. Vinod Srivastava, MBBS, MD (Social & Preventive Medicine), DPH, M.Sc. Comm. Med. (LSHTM), FAMS, FIPHA, FIAPSM, FSMS is the present Secretary of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA), and is currently working as the Head of the Department of Community Medicine, Hind Institute of Medical Sciences, Barabanki, Lucknow Metro, India. He also served as part of the teaching faculty in Social & Preventive Medicine at King George’s Medical University, Lucknow as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Integral University, Lucknow, India. Previously, Dr. Srivastava held key research positions in India – Director, Regional Medical Research Centre, NE Region (Indian Council of Medical Research), Dibrugarh and Director, State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Lucknow, India. In addition to his training in epidemiology in India, Dr. Srivastava also received advanced training in epidemiology at CDC / Emory University, Atlanta and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London. Dr. Srivastava has undertaken and coordinated a large number of research projects and has been the lead investigator of over 35 research projects funded by various agencies, such as the WHO, Unicef, World Bank, CARE, PATH, JHU-SPH, ICMR (Govt. of India) etc. His current research interests are focused on maternal and child health and programme evaluation. He has published over 110 research papers in leading medical journals and guided over 40 students for MD and PhD degrees. He has also served as the National President of the Indian Public Health Association during 1998-1999 as well as that of Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine in 2009-2010. He has been the Chief Editor of the Indian Journal of Public Health and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Indian Journal of Community Medicine and Indian Journal of Community Health. In recognition of his academic contributions, he has been awarded the Fellowships of Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (FIAPSM), Indian Public Health Association (FIPHA), Fellowship of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (FAMS) and Fellowship of Indian Society of Medical Statistics (FSMS). Dr Srivastava is an active member of the International Epidemiological Association and has served as its Regional Councilor for South East Asia Region from 2008 – 2014. (Text taken from IEA website)
Why did you choose to study at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine?
After completing my medical degree as well as a degree in Public Health in India, I joined the King George’s Medical College, Lucknow, India as a faculty member in Social & Preventive Medicine. Subsequently, I was awarded a fellowship to study Public Health at one of the schools in UK. I chose to join the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine because of its international reputation in public health.
What challenges did you face while studying at the School? How did you overcome them?
In the initial days I had problems in picking up the accent of the teachers, however I was able to overcome it by watching English programmes on TV and interacting with students from UK. As I was used to eat Indian food, I also had problems with the local food, but after some time I became used to it.
How has your degree from the School helped you in your career?
It has broadened my vision towards public health in an international context, it has also helped me to develop confidence in dealing with international issues and use my experiences in an Indian setting. It has also helped me to develop friends throughout the world.
Were the relationships you formed at the School useful? In what way?
Yes, they have been very useful. I liaise effectively with public health personnel globally and because of that I succeeded in becoming Secretary of International Epidemiological Association in 2014.
What have been the greatest or proudest moments in your career?
It was a joyous moment for me the day I was elected the Secretary, International Epidemiological Association ( a global body spread over more that 100 countries) in 2014; a position to be occupied by an India for the first time. I feel that it was because of my global contacts and the relationships developed during my studies at LSHTM; they have helped a lot.
What do you hope to further achieve in your field in the future?
I want to have greater involvement in various international activities that are being taken up to improve health in India.
What advice do you have for current students?
While at LSHTM, try to utilize the time to learn about the experiences of faculty and colleagues and apply the same experiences to improve the health of your own people.
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Images: Main image – IEA Conference in Malawi; Left hand image – Dr. Vinod Srivastava