COVID-19 Outbreak: On The Frontlines
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center and Project SANCHAR, are co-hosting a webinar series titled, “COVID-19 Outbreak: On the Frontlines”. Through this series, we will host subject experts and leading public health practitioners to gain an insight into the spread and control of coronavirus, its impact on health and wellbeing of communities, and India’s policy and health systems response to mitigate the crisis. The webinar will provide a convening platform for a wide range of stakeholders, including NGOs, development agencies, journalists, and representatives from the Government, in partnership with faculty and researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Ep. 1 — Vaccines, Treatment and Managing the Pandemic
A pioneer in global health, Dr. Barry R. Bloom, Jack and Joan Jacobson Research Professor of Public Health, Dean Emeritus, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, joined the Harvard Chan India Research Center and Project SANCHAR, for a conversation on “Vaccines, Treatment and Managing the Pandemic”. With a wealth of experience and contributions to the fields of immunology, vaccines and global health policy, Dr. Bloom provided valuable insights into infectious disease perspective of the novel coronavirus. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Divya Rajagopal, Senior Assistant Editor, The Economic Times.
Dr. Bloom provided valuable insights into the status of the vaccine development around the world, major priorities and challenges. He stressed on the advantage of developing multiple vaccines against COVID-19 that are manufactured globally and reiterated that resources will be a major driver to determine the winning vaccine candidate. Some key points highlighted through his discussion were that the coronavirus pandemic will continue to prevail in times to come and that the scientific community yet does not completely understand the virus. Dr. Bloom called for global cooperation among the scientific community and governments to fight the deadly virus.
Ep. 2 — Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on the Health and Well-being of Children
In collaboration with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Government of India, the Harvard Chan India Research Center co-hosted a webinar on the “Health and Well-Being of children during the Corona outbreak” with eminent speakers, Dr. Karestan Koenen, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Department(s) of Epidemiology and Social and Behavioural Sciences and Dr. Archana Basu, Clinical psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Research Associate from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; joined by Dr. Shekhar Seshadri Senior Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Associate Dean of Behavioural Sciences at the NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences). The webinar was hosted by Dr. Ananya Awasthi, Assistant Director, Harvard Chan India Research Center.
The faculty suggested some key strategies to ensure children’s well-being and health during the lockdown. These strategies included designating media free zones in the household for children; encouraging zero screen-time for children below the age of two years; and adapting to the unique temperament and personality of each child. Dr. Koenen emphasised on the need for providing realistic assurances to children and parents to focus on things they can control, given the norms of physical distancing. She added that policy solutions to address children’s wellbeing must account for their mental wellbeing contextualized in terms of the individual’s economic status Dr. Basu focused on the importance of managing family communications, developing age appropriate strategies for talking to children about the Coronavirus and shared tips for promoting mindfulness and wellbeing of parents during the pandemic. In the Indian context, Dr. Sheshadri drew our attention to the impact of the current crisis on vulnerable populations and their children, including migrant workers, children with developmental disorders and children who have faced abuse and trauma. Sharing India-based COVID-19 resources for supporting the mental wellbeing of parents and children, Dr. Seshadri also guided parents to maintain a healthy routine for children, allocate time for relaxation activities, and encourage peer support in times of the pandemic.
Ep. 3 — Behaviour Change post Lockdown: Staying Ahead of the Curve in a COVID-19 World
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center and Project SANCHAR, in collaboration with the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change (CSBC), Ashoka University, hosted a webinar on “Behaviour Change Post Lockdown: Staying Ahead of the Curve in a COVID-19 World”. In the absence of a vaccine and treatment to manage the pandemic, the webinar aimed to explore the role of public health communication and messaging strategies in translating measures such as social-distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and self-quarantine into widely acceptable norms post the lockdown. Dr. K. Viswanath, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was the keynote speaker and he was joined on the panel by Ms. Elizabeth Serlemitsos, Director, Breakthrough ACTION, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Dr. Pavan Mamidi, Director, CSBC- Ashoka University, and Dr. Sanna Balsari-Palsule, Behavioral Scientist, Dalberg Asia.
Ep. 4 — The Coronavirus Pandemic: Stopping the Spread of Misinformation
Facebook Live Q&A with K. “Vish” Viswanath, Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Presented jointly by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and The World from PRX & WGBH
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
A flood of evolving information, as well as potentially damaging misinformation, has accompanied the coronavirus pandemic. Amplified by social media, misinformation in particular can undermine critical public health efforts, fuel conspiracy theories and add confusion to the global conversation about how to curb the pandemic. In this Facebook Live Q&A, K. “Vish” Viswanath, Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explored the pitfalls of COVID-19 misinformation as well as approaches to surfacing transparent and trustworthy information about the pandemic.
Part of: Coronavirus Pandemic Series.
Presented jointly by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and The World from PRX & WGBH
Ep. 5 — Policy and Health Systems Response to COVID-19
The webinar hosted Dr. Winnie Yip, Professor of the Practice of International Health Policy and Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Mr. Alok Kumar, IAS, Advisor (Health and Nutrition), at the National Institution for Transforming India, also known as NITI Aayog, premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India. The webinar discussed the lessons learnt from how various global health systems have responded to the pandemic. Dr. Yip emphasised on the need for greater investment in health care delivered by the private sector in India while Mr. Kumar casted a spotlight on India’s policy response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ep. 6 — Partnerships to Advance Public Health and the Economy in the COVID-19 Era
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center, in collaboration with Project SANCHAR and Piramal Foundation, co-hosted a webinar titled ‘Partnerships to advance Public Health and the Economy in the COVID-19 era’. The webinar began with an opening address by Dean Michelle Williams, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, on the importance of leadership and building critical partnerships to manage the Corona pandemic. Joining on the panel were Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, premier policy ‘Think Tank’ for the Government of India, Dr. Swati Piramal, Vice Chairperson, Piramal Group, Prof. Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Naveen Rao, Senior Vice President, Health Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation.The webinar was moderated by Ms. Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18 Media Group. Dr. K. Viswanath, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, concluded the webinar by providing closing remarks and thanking the panelists for their time and inputs.
Ep. 7 — Mental Health and COVID-19: Coping Strategies for Young People
Webinar on Mental Health and COVID-19: Coping Strategies for Young People conducted under the COVID-19 Outbreak: On the Frontlines Series co-hosted by Harvard Chan India Research Center and Project SANCHAR.
This webinar was co-hosted with the U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai, India.
The panelists for this webinar included: Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Elizabeth Levey, Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Ms. Padmini Somani, Founder Director, Salaam Bombay Foundation and Dr. Nimesh G. Desai, Director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences. The webinar was moderated by Ms. Divya Rajagopal, Senior Assistant Editor, The Economic Times.
Ep. 8 — Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in Addressing Non-Communicable Diseases in Rural India
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center, in collaboration with Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), hosted a policy webinar to share the results of the baseline study conducted in Bhatinda, Punjab, India, led by Dr. Lindsay Jaacks, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in collaboration with Ambuja Cement Foundation. The study focused on identifying populations in rural areas of India that are at high risk for developing diabetes and hypertension, with a focus on associated risk factors like diet, physical activity and use of tobacco and alcohol.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Vipul Aggarwal, Deputy CEO, National Health Authority, who spoke about the policy Implications of the study on India’s National Health Protection Scheme- Ayushman Bharat. Other speakers include Ms. Pearl Tiwari, CEO, ACF; Dr. Anil Goyal, Senior Medical Officer, CHC Goniana, Bhatinda, Punjab; Dr. Vinayak Sonawane, Vertical Head for Health Programs, ACF; and Dr. Ananya Awasthi, Assistant Director, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center.
Ep. 9 — Use of Artificial Intelligence for Public Health and Social Good
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center, in collaboration with Project SANCHAR and Google Research India, hosted a webinar on “Use of Artificial Intelligence for Public Health & Social Good”. The webinar was led by Dr. Milind Tambe, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science & Director Center for Research in Computation and Society (CRCS), Harvard University; and Director “AI for Social Good”, Google Research India.
The webinar hosted eminent researchers and leaders: Ms. Anna Roy, Advisor, NITI Aayog who led the development of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence; Dr. Rahul Panicker, Chief Innovation Officer, Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence; Dr. Aparna Hegde, Founder, ARMMAN; and Dr. Ben Zevenbergen, Research Scientist, Google. The webinar was moderated by Ms. Divya Rajagopal, Senior Assistant Editor, The Economic Times. The webinar highlighted the application of artificial intelligence based interventions while dealing with public health and social issues – including the ethical and policy considerations and learnings from the field during implementation.
Ep. 10 — Response of The Non-Profit Sector to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – India Research Center, in collaboration with Project SANCHAR, hosted a webinar on the “Response of the Non-Profit Sector to the COVID-19 Pandemic”. This webinar aimed to gain an insight into key learnings and successful strategies adopted by four renowned non-profit organizations as a response to COVID-19 in India.
The webinar hosted program leads for health: Mr. Aditya Natraj, Director, Piramal School of Leadership; Mr. HSD Srinivas, Head – Health, Tata Trusts; Ms. Priti Kibe, Senior Manager – CSR, Forbes Marshall; and Mr. Gaurav Arora, Vice-President – Projects (Skills & Sports), Salaam Bombay Foundation. The webinar was moderated by Ms. Divya Rajagopal, Senior Assistant Editor, The Economic Times.