Aga Khan University faculty Dr Shehla Zaidi has been nominated from Pakistan as part of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean’s (WHO-EMRO) committee on health research.
The committee will help advance WHO’s strategic priorities as part of its vision 2023. It will promote research as a key tool for health development and formulate evidence-based policies and actions for change. Furthermore, the committee will support the development of effective health research systems and strengthen research capacities in the countries of the region.
The multidisciplinary regional advisory committee will bring together about 12 academics from 22 different eastern Mediterranean states to strengthen research linkages and strategise priorities for evidence generation.
As part of the committee, Dr Zaidi who is an associate professor in the departments of community health sciences and paediatrics and child health, will be identifying lessons learned across the region for systematically harnessing the private sector for Universal Health Coverage 2030.
Dr Zaidi has a PhD and MSc in Health Policy and Management and is an alumna of AKU’s MBBS class of 1994. Her research interests lie in health policy analysis, health financing, public-private partnerships, health systems and applications of digital-tech for health governance amongst others.
During her time at AKU, Dr Zaidi has led several studies on access and quality of maternal and newborn health services in Pakistan and how vaccine delivery systems can be improved for routine immunisation. She partnered with the Sindh government in immunisation innovation as part of the Teeko project, an app to monitor vaccination campaigns and stock of vaccines at the district level. She also worked on the capacity development of mid-senior officers in policy and management and led the team for the federal ministry on the development of a National Health Vision 2016-25. Previously, she worked with WHO-EMRO as lead investigator in a multi-country policy research based on integration of non-communicable diseases into primary healthcare systems in Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Pakistan.
“I’m delighted to have a learning exchange with WHO and other regional experts to bring an in-depth focus on lesson learnings around the private sector. The progress towards Universal Health Coverage 2030 relies on how best the multifaceted private sector can provide impactful, quality and low-cost interventions to specific country targets.”
Dr Zaidi also serves as member of the global WHO expert reference group on health governance and policy stream global reproductive, maternal, newborn, child adolescent health policies around the world.