New Leadership at the Population Council's India Office
The Population Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Avina Sarna to head the Council's India office
NEW DELHI and NEW YORK (10 January 2013) — Sarna, a physician specializing in public health, has worked with the Population Council since 2001. She replaces outgoing country director Dr. Saroj Pachauri, who will continue to serve as a Population Council Distinguished Scholar.
At the Council, Sarna has spearheaded high-impact research on access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care. She is currently investigating ways to avert HIV infection among injecting drug users and to improve services for this vulnerable population.
The Population Council's India office has been changing the way policymakers think about critical health and development issues since the 1960s. Council research played a key role in convincing the Indian government to eliminate method-specific targets from its family planning program in the 1990s and to create a client-centered, gender-sensitive reproductive health and child health program focused on delivering high-quality care.
Other important work from the Council’s India office includes:
- Improving HIV policy for migrants in India
Council research is informing revision of India’s national HIV policies and programs to reach people who migrate in search of work.
- Documenting Avahan, a project to reduce the spread of HIV in India
The Population Council is synthesizing and analyzing data collected by the Gates-funded Avahan project to guide future HIV prevention initiatives in India and other countries with similar concentrated epidemics.
- Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP)
Council researchers are evaluating reproductive health programs to find out how they can run more effectively and efficiently, including postpartum services and services for people living with HIV.
- Documenting young people's lives
Council researchers investigated key transitions facing young people, including education and livelihood opportunities and experiences, and tested models to enhance their health, education, livelihood skills, and ability to make choices that affect their lives.
- Expanding contraceptive choice for women
Council researchers are assessing the acceptability of the progesterone vaginal ring and comparing its efficacy with the Copper-T IUD for birth spacing among breastfeeding women.
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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