KN pragati sharma

I am a nurse-midwife public health consultant working for the improvement of maternal health. Currently I am working with WHO headquarters to support the Office of Chief Nurse to build and sustain the virtual ‘Nursing and Midwifery Global Community of Practice’ focusing mostly on the midwifery aspect. My most recent role has been with World Health Organization, India as a Assistant Program Director for Midwifery Leadership Programme where I supported a 12 week training on midwifery leadership for state leaders. I have also supported the National Midwifery Initiative and other in-country projects around midwifery education and services.

I am passionate about quality, equitable, and respectful care for maternal and reproductive health, particularly midwifery. I have a wide range of experience in public health in the SRMNCAH area in India and abroad. I am an advocate for midwifery services for normal labor and birth. Last few years of my work has been around midwifery education, services and leadership.

I am a graduate in public policy from the University of Oxford, UK and graduate in public health from Manipal Academy of higher sciences, Karnataka. My experience includes working in policy and planning, program implementation & evaluation, research, and capacity building. In addition to WHO India, my professional association has been with UNICEF, Jhpiego-India, WHO headquarters etc.

My journey in public health started in year 2007 when I was a student nurse in my final year posting for community health nursing- that stretch of posting affected me deeply and guided me to choose a career in public health. My master’s degree in public health gave me a fresh perspective of public health and inspired me to work in the most underdeveloped states of India. I have worked in Jharkhand state in various projects to understand and build capacity of nurses in work-settings and empower them as maternal health advocates. I have also successfully contributed to the policy decision of the workforce recruitment and deployment in Sikkim by providing suggestion to the incumbent political party.

With this experience, in 2016-2017, I went to University of Oxford on full scholarship to study public policy and that honed my understating of policy and politics of health. It gave me a wide-eyed view of the health inequalities of the world and gave me a platform to interact and understand country specific health issues from colleagues from 56 different countries. Since then, I have worked with WHO headquarters and WHO India in in various policy projects around nursing and midwifery.