ISUH can create a bridge for issues and themes in urban health and provide regional opportunities for collaboration. Each member is an ambassador of ISUH.
Dr. Sainath Banerjee has been an ISUH Board member over the past year. Being a board member is quite exciting for him because of the scope and nature of the task. He sees his participation in ISUH enabling him to have global impact. He is currently co-leading the community solutions workgroup. This workgroup proposes to share local community solutions for urban health globally and to create opportunities for community-based actions.
Dr. Banerjee started actively working in urban health back in 2002-2003 when he led a small pilot program in India with USAID assistance. His work focused on slums that were not supported by the government of India’s development agenda because they are not “listed.” He used data to show the need for including these communities in the national planning. His work inspired the government to develop a national urban health agenda.
- He sees ISUH in 4 areas: (1) advocacy;
- implementation research;
- knowledge support;
Because of its position on the global level, ISUH can be an advocate for the creation of urban health agendas. ISUH should have a field presence and implementation to add to its knowledge base. For knowledge support, ISUH can provide predictor information to support landscape or future predictor of urban health for some countries. For networking ISUH can create partnerships with various institutions to address urban health issues.
Dr. Banerjee wants to help ISUH figure out how to engage and amplify research being conducted by its members and provide a frame for supporting opportunities for members to develop advocacy platforms. He believes that membership engagement in ISUH can be supported through institutional level involvement, not just at the individual level. Members should see ISUH as the source of knowledge information and global initiatives on urban health. ISUH can create a bridge for issues and themes in urban health and provide regional opportunities for collaboration. Each member is an ambassador of ISUH. He thinks it will be a good idea to create regional chapters of ISUH.
Dr. Sainath Banerjee, an expert on Urban Health in India. He has over twenty-four years of work experience in the domain of Public Health in designing, implementing and evaluating large-scale, complex health program to address the health status of the most vulnerable and marginalized population. He has worked extensively with Government of India, Bi-lateral agency, International Financial Institution, Private Voluntary Organizations, National Foundations and Private Sectors, including corporate houses.
For the last sixteen years, he has been spearheading in designing and demonstrating evidence-based integrated urban health program in several Indian towns and cities. He has been instrumental in providing technical assistance and policy advocacy support to several Indian states, Municipal Corporations, Urban local bodies through various programs such as Environmental Health Project (EHP), Extended Urban Health Program (EUHP), Urban Health Initiative (UHI) and Health of the Urban Poor (HUP). For the cause of urban poor, he has continuously been advocating the urban health agenda with the key ministries, department, private entities, academia and civil society organizations. He had played an active role during the designing and drafting of National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), rolling out and implementation support of NUHM for initial three years and also provided coordination and linkage support to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Govt. of India and several state governments.
His area of interest in urban health is Community Participation, Health Planning & System, Equity, Convergence, Measurement and Learning, Governance and Advocacy. Training and Capacity Building is one of his area of interest. He has presented several papers in National and International conferences, author of several publications and a popular speaker in various fora, including academic institutions.
Dr. Sainath is an Anthropologist by training, holds Ph. D in Population Genetics and was a research fellow with the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), New Delhi, India. He was the Member of Delhi Urban Health Policy working group, Govt. of Delhi, member of Technical Resource Group (TRG), for NUHM, MOHFW, Gov. of India, & currently Scientific Committee as well as Board Member of International Society of Urban Health (ISUH), US.