School of Population Health

Associate Professor Rohina Joshi recognised for bilateral impact and innovation

image - Rohina Joshi

Rohina Joshi, Scientia Associate Professor of Global Health at the School of Population Health, UNSW Medicine and Health, is a finalist in the 2022 India Australia Business Community Alliance (IABCA) Awards.

Selected from over 200 nominations from businesses, professionals, exporters and not-for-profits across the globe, Associate Professor Joshi is a finalist in two of the 11 categories – the highly contested IABCA Australia India Impact Award and the IABCA Australia India Science, Research and Development Award

Professor Rebecca Ivers, Head of the School of Population Health said: “Congratulations to Associate Professor Joshi on this recognition; it is testament to the stand-out innovation and excellence of her work and its invaluable contribution to the health outcomes and wellbeing of communities in India, Australia and beyond.”

The Australia India Impact Award recognises the contributions of an individual, organisation or project that adds value to the bilateral relationship and celebrates projects and organisations that have expanded from Australia to India or India to Australia. The Australia India Science, Research and Development Award recognises outstanding contributions to the advancement of science, technology and research made by an organisation or an individual.

Reflecting on being a finalist in the IACBC Awards, Associate Professor Joshi said: “India and Australia are both home for me, one is my birthplace, and the other is my adopted home – working across both the countries is a privilege.”  

“IABCA encourages diaspora like me to keep doing the work that we are passionate about – one that builds stronger ties across the two nations and positively impacts the lives of people across the globe,” she said.

Associate Professor Joshi is being recognised for her innovation in strengthening the health workforce and health information systems, improving access to healthcare, and, in response to the second wave of COVID-19 in India, developing COVID-connect, a voluntary platform linking medical professionals across Australia with NGOs and communities in India.

“I believe that everyone, everywhere should have access to health care, irrespective of geographical boundaries, and to achieve this goal, I collaborate with brilliant colleagues,” said Associate Professor Joshi. 

The majority of people living in rural India lack access to skilled healthcare professionals due to shortage of doctors. Associate Professor Joshi’s innovative research, conducted while working with The George Institute for Global Health, looks at models of care where non-physicians can be trained to provide standardised care. She has led several studies which demonstrate the role of trained non-physicians in delivering health care as part of primary healthcare teams.

Associate Professor Joshi's doctoral research was the first to highlight that chronic diseases like heart attack and stroke were the leading causes of death in rural India. She has collaborated with the Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation to develop Smart Verbal Autopsy technology to help determine probable causes of death where there is no medical record. In 2016, she co-developed and implemented SmartVA for Physicians, an electronic decision support-system to help doctors in Philippines, China and Colombia certify causes of death without medical records.

As a result of COVID-Connect, there has been training of 80 doctors in the prevention and management of COVID-19, and of 600 graduate students in Tamil Nadu who have now educated several hundred families in rural and urban regions of the country. The initiative also led to the provision of preventive and mental health resources to NGOs in India and Nepal during COVID-19.

The winners will be announced at the IABCA Awards Ceremony on 29 April 2022.   

In additional to her appointment at UNSW, Associate Professor Joshi is an Honorary Senior Fellow at The George Institute Australia, Senior Manager at The George Institute India, and a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow – more about her here

Contact Name : 
UNSW School of Population Health