Poudel Appointed Co-Director of UMass Amherst Institute for Global Health

Krishna Poudel
Krishna Poudel

Krishna C. Poudel, associate professor in the department of health promotion and policy, has been appointed to serve as co-director of the Institute for Global Health (IGH). He steps into the position vacated by former IGH director Timothy Ford, who recently left the university. An additional co-director will be identified in the upcoming year.

Poudel brings to this role an extensive and impressive background in global and community health, HIV/STI prevention and health promotion and intervention. For the last three decades he has contributed to organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Family Health International, the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and Save the Children. His work has included projects in Nepal, Japan, Cambodia,Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, among the more than 10 countries in which he has conducted research.

In his role as IGH co-director, Poudel will carry out the Institute’s mission of protecting and promoting the health of people across the globe, raise awareness of global health problems among the UMass community, and work to initiate large-scale multi-disciplinary programs of research and education to address global health challenges.

“By facilitating an exchange of ideas and collaborations, the IGH aims to address health disparities and inequities across the globe,” says Poudel. “As a co-director, I will work to strengthen our strategic partnerships both within the campus and outside, and to provide opportunities for students to explore multidisciplinary issues in global health through education and engagement in global health activities.”

Poudel, who assumed the position on Sept. 1, has already helped to launch the IGH 2020 Global Health Seminar Series for this fall semester, with topics including undernutrition among HIV-positive children, tuberculosis, COVID-19 emergency assistance, mental health, and traffic injuries, and highlighting researchers from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Upcoming webinars include:

  • “Addressing Undernutrition Among HIV-Positive Children in Tanzania,” Thursday, Sept. 10, 8:30-9:30 a.m., with speaker Bruno Sunguya, senior lecturer in the School of Public Health and Social Sciences and director of research and publications in the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, and member of the WHO Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group.
  • “Community Mobilization to End Tuberculosis in Cambodia,” Thursday, Oct. 1, 8:30-9:30 a.m., with speaker Siyan Yi, director of the KHANA Center for Population Health Research in, Cambodia, and assistant professor and director of UHS-SSHSPH Integrated Research Program in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • “Working Conditions of Drivers, Traffic Rule Violations, and Bus and For-Hire Three-Wheeler Crashes in Sri Lanka,” Thursday, Oct. 22, 8:30-9:30 a.m., with speaker Achala Upendra Jayatilleke, professor in the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • “COVID-19 Emergency Assistance to Populations Vulnerable to Homelessness and Foodlessness in Asia: Lessons Learned for Socio-Economic Preparedness in Time of Pandemic,” Thursday, Nov. 5, 8:30-9:30 a.m., with speakers Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, MD, Executive Director and Cofounder of the Center for Support Community Development Initiatives, Vietnam, and member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV and Viral Hepatitis for World Health Organization; and Masami Fujita, MD, PhD, Director, Global Networking, Bureau of International Health Cooperation, in the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

“Engaging in global health discourse during this time of COVID-19 is even more important than ever,” says Poudel. “One of the goals of this seminar series is to provide a space for student, staff and faculty to engage in the global health discourse. Invited guest speakers from different continents will bring an original perspective, and share their experiences in addressing global health challenges. It is anticipated that this seminar series will also be useful to expand networking and create global health collaboration, internship, and practicum opportunities. In the near future, we will announce other seminars on the restructuring of health systems in low and middle-income countries and mental health.”

For more information or the Zoom link, contact Krishna Poudel at krishna@schoolph.umass.edu.