I have an interdisciplinary background with a Master’s and Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology, Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). My areas of interest include global health, anthropology of health and health care, international health policy, ethnographic and qualitative research methods. I am currently the co-investigator of an EU FP7 funded research capacity development project at Newcastle University which involves eleven Northern and Southern partners from UK, Ireland, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. I am particularly responsible for research capacity development on medical anthropology in the partner countries. Before this project I was involved with another EU-FP7 funded research project at Newcastle University involving four Mediterranean countries, namely Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Palestine. In the previous project I was responsible for coordinating the comparative analysis of health policies and ethnographic exploration of people’s health beliefs and health seeking behaviour in relation to Non Communication Diseases (NCDs) in those countries. Apart from the Mediterranean countries I have lead collaborative qualitative research projects involving South Asian and African countries.
I am currently also leading the module ‘Introduction to Global Health’ for the M.Sc. in Public Health and Health Services Research at Newcastle University, UK. Before joining Newcastle University in 2009 I was working as an Associate Professor at James. P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh (http://sph.bracu.ac.bd). My previous research work centered around ethnographic exploration of health beliefs, practices and health care interventions in Bangladesh. I also have worked in community based public health programmes. My Ph.D. research was ethnography of a hospital in Bangladesh. It was the first of its kind in Bangladesh and one of very few hospital ethnographies conducted in a non-Western setting. This was published in 2005 as a book titled, ‘Broken limbs, broken lives: Ethnography of a hospital ward in Bangladesh’ from Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I have chaired a module at the Medical Anthropology department of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and am also a visiting faculty at the Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University, Germany. I also have conducted short courses on ethnographic research methods in Syria and Turkey. I have published in many international peer reviewed journals. In addition I have published book, book chapters and edited monographs. I also have presented in several international conferences and workshops on qualitative research and medical anthropological issues.
• Ph.D. Medical Anthropology
Amsterdam School of Social Science Research (ASSR), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Degree awarded in 2003.
• MA. Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology
Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Degree awarded in 1998.
• MPH. Master of Public Health
National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM), Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Degree awarded in 1995.
• MBBS. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery. University of Chittagong,
Bangladesh . Degree awarded in 1988
· Associate Professor and MPH Programme Coordinator, James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh. From September 2004 to March 2009. (The School runs an international Masters in Public Health course. sph.bracu.ac.bd)
· Senior Research Fellow, Research and Evaluation division, BRAC, Bangladesh ( www.brac.net), From 1995-2004. BRAC, an international development organization based in Bangladesh, is the largest non-governmental development organization in the world, measured by the number of employees and the number of people it has helped.
· Medical Officer, Community based Health and Nutrition program, BRAC, Bangladesh From 1990 to 1994.
Honours and Awards
I am a literary writer in Bengali language and published several fiction and non fiction books in Bengali.
Ethnography of health and health care
Global health policy and health systems research
Primary health care in developing countries
Qualitative research Methodology
I have conducted several qualitative and ethnographic researches on the following areas:
· I have coordinated the research project that conducted anthropological exploration of people’s health seeking behaviour and health beliefs in relation to non communicable diseases in Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Palestine.
· I worked as the country Principal Investigator from Bangladesh in a multi country qualitative research project titled ‘Globalization as a social determinants of Health’, funded by WHO South Asian Regional Office (SEARO). The countries involved were Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. This qualitative research project explored the influence of globalization on the food habits of urban youth in the respective countries.
· I also worked as the Principal Investigator from Bangladesh in another multi country qualitative research project titled ‘Communicable Diseases: Vulnerability, Risks and Poverty’, funded by DFID, UK. The countries involved were Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Ghana, Swaziland, and Uganda. The research project investigated the health system challenges in implementing Directly Observed Therapy (DOTs) for Tuberculosis in the respective countries.
Evaluation of Community Health Projects
• Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) Methods
I am currently the co-investigator and coordinator of an EU FP7 funded research capacity development project, titled RESCAP-MED (NCDs and their social determinants in Mediterranean countries: building sustainable research capacity for effective policy intervention: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/rescap-med/). This project involves eleven Northern and Southern partners from UK, Ireland, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. I am particularly responsible for research capacity development on medical anthropology in the partner countries.
Currently co-supervising the following thesis:
o Neighbourhood Socioeconomic Status and Self Rated Health Among Adult Women in Aleppo, Syria: A Mixed Method Study, Balsam Ahmed, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK
o Seroimmunity profile and associated knowledge and concern of Hepatitis B, Measles and Vericella infection among employees in Saudi National Guard, Saudi Arabia, Majid Althaqafy, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK
Pathways of Inhuman Care: Violation of Patient’s Rights in a South African Emergency Unit, Sarah Shelmerdine, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
o Mr. Srinivas Nallala, Indian Institute of Public Health Bhubaneswar, India.
Project title: Community participation in rural primary health care in Andhra Pradesh, India
o Eren Korkmaz, Institute of Health Sciences, Department of Public Health, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey
Project title: Determinants of and Barriers to Self-Care/Self-Management Behavior among patients with diabetes in Turkey
Master’s thesis supervision:
Supervised several Master’s thesis at School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh and Medical Anthropology Department, University of Amsterdam,The Netherlands.
Currently I am leading the module titled ‘Introduction to Global Health’ for the MSc in Public Health and Health Service Research at Newcastle University, UK. I designed the module and introduced it to the course for the first time. The module received highly positive feedback from the students.
I am now responsible for developing the research capacity in medical anthropology in the Eastern Mediterranean countries of the EU FP7 funded project RESCAP-MED mentioned before. I taught the module ‘Anthropology of health and health care’ for the International Master’s in Public Health (MPH) course at BRAC University, Bangladesh. I have worked as the Chair for the Module ‘Social, Cultural and Historical Dimensions of Infectious Disease’ at the Medical Anthropology unit of University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I also thought social and cultural aspects of health for the undergraduate medical students at Newcastle University Medical School.
Qualitative/Ethnographic research methods
I was the module leader of ‘Qualitative Research Methods’ for the International Master’s in Public Health (MPH) course at BRAC University, Bangladesh. I worked as a visiting faculty at the Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University, Germany and was responsible for teaching qualitative research at the ‘Mixed Method for International Health’ course for Masters of Public Health (MPH) students. I have conducted short courses on ethnographic research methods in Turkey and Syria.
Medicine in the Community
I was a tutor for the module ‘Medicine in the Community’ for the MBBS students at Newcastle, UniversityMedical School in 2010.