Human life over policies: live with the people to do good public health work, with Dr. Neelam Bhardwaj

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In this episode, Sujani sits down with Neelam Bhardwaj, a healthcare professional with decades of international experience. They discuss Neelam’s research interests, the projects she has led around the world, and what she has learned from her extensive career. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Neelam found her way into public health through her medical and clinical training
  • Neelam’s research interest and her work in women and children’s health 
  • Neelam’s experiences working with international organizations such as UNICEF and the United Nations
  • The various projects and initiatives Neelam has led around the world
    • What she has learned working with different cultures in the world
  • Where to start if you are thinking of working at the international level
  • How to focus and work towards your passion
  • What Helplife Global is and what inspired Neelam to create it

Today’s Guest:

Dr. Neelam Bhardwaj has over 30 years of experience in the medical field. A highly skilled doctor, she currently works as a social obstetrician, wellness practitioner, and a global public health expert in the area of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH). She is driven by a passion to empower young girls and women from the underprivileged communities. 

Neelam has 20 years of her career working for international health, of which 15 years she spent as a technical expert for maternal and child health with UNICEF in number of Countries in remote and fragile settings, e.g., Indonesia, Sudan, Uganda, Malawi and India. She contributed to improving reproductive health of girls and women while at UNFPA, HQ NY. She worked with International Rescue Committee (IRC), in Sierra Leone, and PATH India in setting up the innovative approaches in remote areas of countries, and supported cultural practices, to save the lives of women and their newborn babies. She has been recipient of several national and international awards, and has many publications to her credit.

Neelam earned postdoctoral degrees in medicine and healthcare management from universities in India, and received a diploma in Reproductive Health in Developing Countries from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom. She is an active member of the Compassionate Birthing Network, & research that will preserve good cultural practices. She is known for her transformative leadership. She spent 15 years in researching disabilities in young women and girls, developed an innovative model of sustainability and development for the most vulnerable sections of the society.

She is a motivational speaker for the most vulnerable who have lost all hopes of living a life of dignity and self-esteem. She is a great storyteller for women living in adversity. Her innovative business model for making young women and girls financially independent, and living a life of respectful citizen is attracting many other partners. She saved many young women and girls to be further pushed into poverty during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Her workshops, “innovating minds” are becoming very popular for motivating young people especially with disabilities. She is an active member of number of women centric platforms like collaborative Birth Equity, love as the Force for healing, International Society for female professionals (ISFP), and Better lives foundation (BLF) U.K.

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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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