09-10-2017 01:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Soumya Swaminathan has made India proud
Soumya Swaminathan is a paediatrician and globally recognised researcher on TB and HIV having 30 years of experience in clinical care and research. It was a proud moment for India when she was appointed as the Deputy Director General of Programmes (DDP) at the World Health Organization earlier this month. It is the highest post held by an Indian so far at the World Health Organization.
Swaminathan considers her appointment as a recognition of India's importance. She said that her new global role as deputy director general (DDG) would be to assist WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom by overseeing the technical work of the organization to ensure it has the right impact.
A senior at the Department of Biotechnology said that Swaminathan’s role is not only a recognition of her work and her capability but it is a very senior role and a very important one, something that India should be very proud of. Most recently, she has been working as Secretary, Department of Health Research - Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of Biomedical research.
Swaminathan is the daughter of MS Swaminathan who changed the face of Indian agriculture with green revolution and Indian educationist Mina Swaminathan. Swaminathan holds MBBS from and MD from All India Institute of Medical Sciences AIIMS), along with a Diplomate of National Board from National Board of Examinations. She subsequently held Post Doctoral Medical Fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern Carolina.
Swaminathan believes India has the potential to play a leading role in innovation by using traditional knowledge to develop new drugs. India can play an important role as it has a large number of startups and entrepreneurs working on affordable medical diagnostics, devices and drugs.
Swaminathan has a longstanding connection to WHO. Between 2009 and 2011, she served as coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva. She has also sat on several WHO and global advisory bodies and committees focused on issues like public health, innovation, intellectual property and TB. We wish her success in her new global endeavour.
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