Namita Srivastava: An Incredible Woman In Public Health, Standing Up For The Rights & Safety Of People & Nations

Namita Srivastava: An Incredible Woman In Public Health, Standing Up For The Rights & Safety Of People & Nations

Namita Srivastava, Managing Director APAC & MEA

Namita Srivastava

Managing Director APAC & MEA

‘Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile’ - Albert Einstein.

Different people have different perspectives on how is life worth living. For Namita Srivastava, protecting and improving the health of people and communities is the definition of worthy living. Throughout history, whether on the front lines or working behind the scenes, women have played a huge role as important public health figures across the globe. Namita is one of those women in public health who is moving the world forward and improving the safety of communities through education, policy, and prevention.

Namita has lived and worked across different countries, managed multiple client relationships and projects across industries, and delivered several policy and strategy frameworks for various organizations. She has been associated with UNAIDS and also managed an entrepreneurial venture in Istanbul in the area of gender empowerment meeting the skill development needs of 600 professionally qualified women across 45 nationalities.

At Policy Wisdom, Namita is leading a variety of policy-influencing projects across multiple disease areas and enabling strategic thinking with senior management of organizations across the health spectrum. She is passionate about working with patient groups to promote healthy communities and healthy behaviors and addressing issues of health equity to ensure access to safe and quality care to benefit the population. Let’s hear it from her.

What inspired you to step into the public health sector?

During my personal and professional journey, I had several opportunities to watch my father and sister contribute in the area of public administration and public policy and to work with United Nations organizations in the area of public health; I came to understand that in public health, we do have the opportunity to change lives, sometimes millions at a time. On realizing my passion for public health, I joined Mahidol University in Thailand to study the art and science of improving the health of people and communities, and ever since then, I have never looked back.

My work will be done only after all patients have access to the right treatment at the right time

Tell us about your academic experience at Mahidol University, Thailand.

Mahidol had a very engaging curriculum and it opened my eyes to the importance of the role of public health as a field. Its detailed curriculum gives students a flavour of different streams of public health in the first few months and then empowers them to understand their passion and become a specialist in their choice of streams. It also has extremely experienced faculty members who are not only into academics but also part of government policymaking. So, when they are talking about public health, they are also implementing those ideas parallelly in their work life. Their live examples helped me to get an interesting perspective on the role of policy in public health, which is now my passion and my specialization.

What have been the major milestones of your journey so far? What keeps you motivated?

The fact that I have been able to work in healthcare policy, across different countries and make a difference in the lives of patients is in itself the greatest milestone of my journey. What makes me excited every single day is my nature of work; I work directly with patients, understanding their journey, and making significant efforts to make their lives better. Over the years, it has become my passion to work with patients with rare diseases and help organizations in different countries to develop policies that are conducive to getting the right treatment at the right time. Ensuring that I am making little impact every day in different countries, disease areas, and patients’ lives is my biggest motivation.

How would you define Policy Wisdom as an organization?

Policy Wisdom is an organization that works purely on health policy. I work very closely with the founder, an extremely passionate public health professional, and have made it my passion to represent Policy Wisdom as an organization that is inclusive and very diverse in nature. We have the best talents from different corners of the globe bringing to the table varied experiences and skills. This diversity in our team has enabled us to deliver projects across 152 countries and completed more than 600 projects so far. We believe in doing all our work and helping all our clients through evidence to be sustainable in the long run. Our approach involves understanding the journey of patients across how they are dealing with their diseases right from pre-diagnosis to treatment and marrying that with the product life cycle. Every project is a combination of global experience and local realities.

What is your style of leadership?

I believe in a nurturing style of leadership, making sure my team feels like they are an integral part of the process and work that they are doing. I like to work through example to demonstrate the importance of each of their tasks as a key part of the overall project. I never hesitate to go beyond my role demonstrating what’s important for the project. As we work with different cultures, backgrounds, experiences and skills that come together as a team, it becomes very important to give them a nurturing environment where together, we are able to deliver impactful projects.

What is your future roadmap?

As Robert Frost says, ‘There are miles to go before I sleep’, I too believe I have a long way to go as there is no end to working towards the achievement of health equity and equality for all patients so that they have access to the right treatment at the right time. Until all such policies for all diseases are in place and equal access to the right healthcare is a reality for all patients across the globe, my work is not done.

Namita Srivastava, Managing Director APAC & MEA, Policy Wisdom

Having a master’s degree in Public Health and Business Administration, Namita is the Managing Director for APAC and MEA at Policy Wisdom with more than eighteen years of professional experience shaping public health policies around the world.

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