Jagnoor Jagnoor: International Women's Day 2019 Profile

Jagnoor Jagnoor is a global health injury researcher who joined The George Institute for Global Health in 2006 as a part-time PhD student and has stayed with the organisation ever since.

Jagnoor has always been a strong believer that health and education are the key drivers of a just society.

“My parents are both public health experts, so health was an obvious choice. To date, I struggle with the thought that we are all born equal in such an unequal world.”

For Jagnoor, the real buzz from her work comes when she is able to see the impact of research in real life.

“My work in itself is nominal, however the communities that I work with are amazing! Seeing the wide-scale implementation of interventions and the grit of project teams, not in numbers but in impact in the community in terms of preventing deaths and reducing disabilities, gives me a real kick.”

Jagnoor says that to effectively prevent injury, reduce the burden and improve the conditions that promote health and safety, strong partnerships between the health sector and other sectors of government such as urban design, transport, social justice etc. are needed.

“I hope my future work informs multi-sectoral action for reducing injuries, particularly in resource-poor settings with competing priorities, where massive gains can be made by addressing upstream factors of health through a multi-sectoral approach.” 

Jagnoor has some encouraging advice, and a gentle warning, for other women thinking about getting into research.

“It is deeply satisfying to work on a project or study that is challenging mentally - the constant knowledge gain and to feel that your work has the potential to benefit humankind.”

“But make time to be a thinker; the competitive nature of the field forces us to be doers, often with little thinking. It is also a highly critical field, so be kind to yourself and build good support systems.”

When asked to reflect on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #Balanceforbetter, she has some sobering words. 

“It excites me that we have begun to recognise the gender imbalance in the world but also saddens me that women are almost half the world population and yet there is a need for this day and theme!”

“I have been extremely fortunate to have great women mentors, but I do wonder where are the male mentors and what could their mentorship offer me. I would like to see more men taking the role of mentors for women, I am sure they can learn a few things in return.”

Read more from Jagnoor on Twitter at @jjagnoor80