Meet Samina Parveen, Research Fellow - Injury Division

Samina Parveen is a Research Fellow at the George Institute for Global Health. She has completed her Master’s in Public Health from Savitribai Phule Pune University and her Bachelor’s in Microbiology/Biochemistry from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

Q: Tell us about your academic qualifications and what inspired you to work in health research?

A: I was inspired to pursue Masters in Public Health (MPH), during my second year of Bachelor’s in Microbiology in St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai by Dr Andrew Lee, a professor at Sheffield University, UK, who had been invited to deliver a guest lecture. Listening to his talk made me realize that knowledge of public health can prevent diseases by promoting healthy behaviour and bringing in community ownership which I believe is an effective approach for improving the health indicators of a developing nation like India.

With the aim to learn and understand different dimensions of public health, I joined the Interdisciplinary School of Health Science in Savitribai Phule Pune University (formerly called University of Pune) for an MPH degree (2013-15). Soon after completing my Masters, I started working at the Indian Institute of Public Health-Shillong (IIPH-S), a regional institute of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). In IIPH-Shillong I worked majorly in reproductive and child health in the North-eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya.   

Q: Can you tell us about your work at The George Institute?

A: I joined the George Institute for Global Health, India in August 2018. I am currently working on the International Orthopaedic Multicentre Study in Fracture Care (INORMUS) study which is a hospital-based cohort study to understand major complications for patients with fracture and dislocation. I am also involved in the disaster risk reduction study which is on understanding vulnerability and resilience to disasters in riverine islands of Assam.

My work includes policy review, qualitative data analysis, evidence synthesis along with field visits and using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques to obtain primary data from communities.

We began data collection in Majuli (World’s Largest River Island) for the Assam disaster risk reduction project, wherein we interacted with Mishing community members to understand vulnerability and disaster resilience. Though the uniqueness of the location made it challenging to access but at the same time it acted as a positive motivator in building rapport with the community members. This mix of desk-based and field-based work keeps me motivated and inspired to do better and work towards building healthier societies.

Q: Tell us about your recent conferences and achievements:

A: I made an oral presentation on “Surveillance data for Road Traffic Injuries in India: evidence synthesis of burden, trend, risk factors and quality of data source” at the National Symposium on Evidence Synthesis for Medicine, Public Health and Social Development in New Delhi on 10-12th April 2019. I received the Best Oral Presentation Award for the same.

In May 2019, I received the India Disaster Resilience Leadership Fellowship award by the Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, George Washington University and funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The first week of the Fellowship training was in Kochi in June 2019, where they introduced us to the concept of disaster resilience, its complexities and had taken us for field visit to Kuttinad and Alleppey to understand community-based and programmed resilience. The second phase of the Fellowship will be in Mumbai in September 2019.

I also got selected for the 4th Global Road Safety Leadership Course from 8th -20th September in Baltimore, USA. This program is co-organized by the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) and the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) with support from the Bloomberg Philanthropies. This will be a great learning opportunity for me which will help me build my career in injury prevention and control. So, I am really looking forward to it.