Dr. Nilambari’s transition from rural to urban health.

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I am Dr. Nilambari Salunkhe. I was born and raised in Mumbai. I completed my degree in Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery from MUHS, Nashik University followed by Masters in Healthcare Management. Over the last decade I worked extensively in private as well as public health systems with a focus on healthcare administration.

Through my work, I was able to learn about implementation of national health programs at the grassroots as well as at policy level. I was able to closely observe results of effective implementation of well-designed health programs in rural health set up especially under reproductive, maternal, child health and adolescent health programs.

In June 2019, I joined Action against hunger as Program Manager for the malnutrition treatment and prevention projects in the urban slums of Mumbai. In this job, for the first time I got the opportunity to work closely with urban healthcare delivery system. We work in close collaboration with Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and Public Health Department of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in the slums of Govandi and Andheri. Moreover, we are working on a unique program - POSHAN OPDs which involves capacity building of hospitals in Mumbai for malnutrition treatment protocols.

Working with marginalized sections of society in urban areas is an entirely new experience for me. Understanding their needs, socio – economic issues in an urban setting has been quite a learning curve. During the COVID 19 pandemic we worked hard as a team to provide food supplies and psychosocial support to vulnerable families and sanitation and PPE kits to Police department, ICDS department, MCGM and major hospitals in Mumbai.

My journey here continues to help enhance my knowledge in the field of urban malnutrition maternal and child health. In the future I wish to work on similar programs in urban slums of various metropolitan cities of India.

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