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Global Health Alumna Shubha - an advocate for children with developmental disabilities

KI alumna Shubha Nagesh Photo: Manik Mandal

Shubha Nagesh, an alumna of the Master's Programme in Global Health at Karolinska Institutet (KI), is an advocate for children with developmental disabilities. Growing up in Bangalore, India, in an academically driven environment, Shubha developed a passion for development work. She started working with an organization supporting people with disabilities during her first year of medical school in India. After completing her medical training, she worked as a clinician in the National Health Service in the UK but felt a strong calling to give back to her country.

Shubha joined the Master's Programme in Health Administration and Global Health at KI, thanks to an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. The program provided her with a solid foundation in global health and emphasized the integration of work, integrity, and personal values. She appreciated the program's diversity, experienced faculty, and the opportunity to connect with peers who became a lifelong support system.

Her perception of Sweden changed during her time in Stockholm, and she enjoyed exploring Scandinavia with her fellow students. After graduation, Shubha returned to Dehradun, India, and began working with The Latika Roy Foundation, a non-profit organization. She initiated a community-based follow-up program for children with developmental disabilities, focusing on remote areas and strengthening evidence and data on childhood disability in the region.

Shubha became an advocate for disability issues within the broader context of global health. She started writing about disability and its impact on global health, contributing to publications such as International Health Policies and the Swedish Network of International Health. The global health program at KI provided her with access to the field, raised her awareness of the potential for making a difference, and enhanced her acumen in global health.

Currently studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Shubha continues her leadership journey in global health. She aims to connect the communities she works with to decision-makers and policymakers. Additionally, she strives to encourage more women to pursue careers in global health in India.

Shubha's advice to students is to push for increased momentum in global health education, particularly in the global South, and to provide mentorship opportunities. She emphasizes the importance of women seeking leadership positions and having a place at the table in shaping global health policies.