Dr Soumya Swaminathan has recently been appointed as Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Secretary of Department of Health Research at India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In an interview with Shobha Shukla of Citizen News Service, Dr Soumya spoke of the importance of the malaria research agenda in the country and described an implementation research approach:
“Malaria is another important area to focus on—especially drug resistant malaria. If we look at the distribution, there are pockets of very high malaria prevalence—mostly in tribal and remote rural areas. ICMR institutes are already working on strategies to tackle this. There are small pilot projects that work, but they need to be scaled up and that has to be done through the programme. Working with the programme is important. It has to be a two-way process—programme should tell what the priorities and bottlenecks are and we need to find solutions and feed them back into the programme.
Read the full interview to find out more about Dr. Soumya’s priority issues and actions in her new tenures.