Name: Dr. Nita Bhandari
FNA ID: P20-1830
Address: President and Director, Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies, 45, Kalu Sarai
City: New Delhi
Pin Code: 110016
Specialization: Nutrition, Child Health, Vaccinology
Service in the Council: Member, 2020
Award: Year 2020
Year of Election: Year 2019
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Personal Website: -
Nita Bhandari completed MBBS in the Year 1979 from Jiwaji University, Gwalior Madhya Pradesh and PhD in the Year 1993 from Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi - Dissertation topic “The Household Management of Diarrhea in its Social Context: Study of a Delhi Slum\".
She worked as a Scientist (Year 1989 to 2004) with Prof. MK Bhan in the Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and served as a principal- or co-investigator in ~20 community-based research projects involving conceptualization, design, data collection, data analysis and publication in internationally peer-reviewed journals.
In the Year 2004, she joined Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies (CHRD-SAS), New Delhi, a not-for-profit organization with its vision is to improve newborn, child and maternal health, and nutrition in India through high-quality, population-based research leading to development of effective interventions and design of novel delivery strategies primarily in low resource settings.
As the President and Director, she leads the CHRD-SAS team, which is amongst the few groups in India that conduct community-based research with large sample sizes. The team includes investigators (MD, MPH, PhD) capable of leading studies independently, research associates who coordinate field activities and other core personnel for research.
Academic and Research Achievements: With over three decades of experience in public health research, Dr. Bhandari has built a career with special focus on nutritional intervention trials to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality, nutrition-infection interactions, and vaccine trials to prevent childhood infectious diseases. Her current research interests include child health and nutrition, development and evaluation of single or a package of interventions to improve birth outcomes, survival, growth and development during early childhood.
Her research contributions have found place in Indian and developing country public health programs. The major contributions include: Establishing malnutrition as key determinant of severity of childhood diarrhea, largely mediated through zinc deficiency, and that improving zinc intake has major effects on diarrhea and pneumonia (BMJ 2002; Pediatr 2002); Validation of WHO recommendations of exclusive breast feeding for 6 months and showed it is safe even in LBW infants and prevents diarrhea hospitalizations (Lancet 2003); Development of the WHO growth standards for worlds’ children (Food and Nutr Bull, 2004; Bull World Health Organ 2002); Demonstrated mortality-saving and severe-infection-preventing effect of the integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses, which has been introduced in the National Rural Health Mission (BMJ 2012; BMJ 2014); iii) Coordinated the clinical development program of the first indigenously manufactured rotavirus vaccine “ROTAVAC®” (Lancet 2014; Vaccine 2014; Heliyon 2017); Demonstrated reduction in mortality through large dose vitamin A supplementation close to birth (Lancet. 2014); Home-based management of children with uncomplicated SAM is an effective and viable option and local RUTF yields higher recovery than calorie-dense home foods (BMJ Glob Health 2016); and Community-initiated kangaroo mother care is effective in improving newborn and infant survival (Lancet 2019).
She has ~150 research publications in different national and international peer-reviewed journals.
Other Contributions: She is a Member of the National Technical Board on Nutrition and Scientific Sub-Committee of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India providing directional and policy inputs for designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the country.
She was a member of the following Advisory Committees constituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India - Zinc as an Adjunct Therapy with Oral Rehydration Solution for treatment of Acute Diarrhea, National Adaptation of Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses Package, Integrated Child Development Services Program; Guidelines for the Management of Acute Respiratory Infections and Diarrhea in Children for Primary Health Care Workers between Year 1997 and 2006.
She also served as a Temporary Adviser to the World Health Organization for technical consultations in the areas of postpartum and postnatal care, improved feeding of infants and young children, scaling up breastfeeding interventions in the community, community-based interventions to improve neonatal health, zinc in treatment of diarrhoea, complementary feeding practices for the prevention of diarrhea, prevention and management of childhood diarrhea, 1992-2019
Awards and Honours: Dr. Bhandari is a recipient of Satya Gupta Award for the best paper in Community Pediatrics at the Annual Conference of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (Year 1990). She received the Ranbaxy Research Award in the field of Medical Research – Clinical Research, from the Ranbaxy Science Foundation (Year 2004). She also received Exemplary Contribution Award from the Indian Medical Association, South Delhi Branch (Year 2008) and the Vijaya Raje Scindia Award of Excellence, Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior (Year 2013). She is a Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru (Year 2015) and a Member of National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad.