South Asian Public Health Forum

Established 1999






List of Advisers with alphabetical order by the last name.

Rana Jawad Asghar, MD. MPH.

( Co-ordinator of South Asian Public Health Forum)

Dr. Jawad is currently working as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer (popularly known as Disease Detectives) at CDC. Before starting this position he worked on a child survival project in Mozambique. His prior assignments also included working as a faculty member at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and as a Research Associate in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Geographic Medicine at Stanford University . He has also worked as a consultant for different organizations and governments. 

 He did his Masters in Public Health (Epidemiology Dept and International Health Program) at the University of Washington. He was a Fellow of Emerging Infectious Diseases there. As a TA he worked for a year on the Graduate Certificate Program for the CDC Field Assignees and for a year he worked as a Teaching Assistant for classes on International Health and Research Methods for Developing Countries. He also worked as an Intern at the World Health Organization in Geneva in Emerging Infections Division.

He writes for different newspapers and journals. His recent Op-Ed was published by the Los Angeles Times and was reproduced by different US newspapers and UN wire services.

He did his basic medical education in Pakistan from Allama Iqbal Medical College, and MCPS from College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was a Franklin Adams Scholar for a year in the Bristol University, UK in the department of Epidemiology.


wpe3A.jpg (3083 bytes) Stephen Bezruchka

Stephen Bezruchka has spent many years working in Nepal, setting up a community health program in a remote area in the west, training Nepali doctors in a remote district hospital, and most recently, working with Nepali surgeons to improve surgical care in remote hospitals by hands-on teaching of medical officers posted there. He has also consulted, and traveled widely throughout the country. He is interested in determinants of health of populations in both rich and poor countries, and in the effects of medical care on population health. In the USA, he works as an emergency physician in Seattle. He teaches courses in qualitative research, population health, and comparative health systems in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington.


John Bryant

Dr. Bryant has been one of the foremost leaders in international public health for the past 3 decades. He has served the world of clinical medicine, public health and international bioethics throughout his long and stellar career. Dr. Bryant was one of the first US citizens to be funded for international public health in the developing world; served the United States government; led a top academic center in public health in the US; and developed a world-class community-based teaching and research program in South Asia.

He is recognized as an authority in several aspects of the field of public health and serves as the honorary President of the Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), which has put forth 2 leading international ethical guidelines in research this decade. His contribution to the field of bioethics, and especially the implementation of health care and research ethics, is a source of inspiration. His knowledge of international settings, both in the South and other parts of the world, have contributed to the understanding and implications of international work in public health in this country. As the a former Dean of the School of Public Health at Columbia University, Professor Emeritus of the Agha Khan University in Pakistan, representative to the WHO World Health Assembly for decades, and President of CIOMS he is already in touch with the global community of ethicists, philosophers and health professionals.


wpe39.jpg (3594 bytes) (Late) Oscar Gish

Oscar Gish was a faculty member at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine of the University of Washington. 

Prof. Gish was educated in Europe in the 1960s in economics and the social sciences. He had been active since then in many countries of Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, including longer periods in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Indonesia. He  engaged in health sector research and was a consultant in almost all the countries of South Asia.  

In addition to the University of Washington, he taught at the Universities of Sussex (U.K.) and Michigan, and had been a consultant and staff member of the World Health Organization. He was published widely on issues of health planning and health economics, and health and other social issues in development. He was a very supportive for SAPHF from the very start.


adnan.jpg (15873 bytes) DR. ADNAN ALI HYDER

Dr. Adnan A. Hyder is Assistant Professor and Leon Robertson Faculty Development Chair in the Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. He is Director of
the Doctor of Public Health Program in International Health, joint
faculty at the Johns Hopkins Injury Research Center and core faculty
of the Johns Hopkins Bioethics Institute. Dr. Hyder serves as a long-
term consultant to the Global Forum for Health Research in Geneva, and
technical advisor to the World Health Organization in Geneva. He has
been working on the issue of health systems in developing countries,
especially South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, for over a decade and
has published widely on public health issues in the international
literature. He is well known for his work on burden of disease and
injury measures, and has been researching the impact of unintentional
injuries in South Asia and East Africa. Dr. Hyder did his M.D. from
the Aga Khan University, Pakistan and obtained his Masters in Public
Health and Ph.D. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, USA.
He is adjunct faculty in several institutions in Pakistan and serves
as Special Advisor to the Pakistan Medical Research Council.

Gregory Pappas, M.D., Ph.D.

Gregory Pappas M.D., Ph.D. recently joined Aga Khan University as Chairman of the Department of Community Health Sciences.  Previously he served as Medical Director of the Futures Group, designing and implementing the monitoring and evaluation plan for the antiretroviral program of AIDSRelief, working in nine countries in Africa and the Caribbean.

Dr. Pappas has assisted in the development of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) including writing for the five year strategy, a report to Congress. Dr. Pappas served in a variety of positions over an 18 year period in the Department of Health and Human Services including his role as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health/Surgeon General, David Satcher. For the Surgeon General, Dr. Pappas worked in a number of areas including disparities in health and global health (HIV/AIDS, other infectious diseases, and health information systems development).  Dr. Pappas also directed the Office of International and Refugee Health, Department of Health and Human Services, serving on the Executive Board of UNICEF and PAHO, and as a delegate to the World Health Assembly. As Deputy Director of the Demographic and Health he implemented innovative surveys in Uganda, Mali, Uzbekistan, and Dominican Republic. Dr. Pappas has extensive experience working in Pakistan where he produced a national health survey based on examination of 18,000 persons with the Pakistani Medical Research Council. Dr. Pappas received his M.D. and Ph.D. (Anthropology) from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. After doing his clinical training, he came to Washington DC, first in a fellowship in Epidemiology, then continuing as a scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics/CDC.  Dr. Pappas is author of numerous articles, including his work in the New England Journal of Medicine “The increasing disparity in mortality between socioeconomic groups in the United States” and his book with Cornell, The Magic City: unemployment in a working class community. Dr. Pappas is on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and was recently appointed to the faculty of Howard Medical School. Dr. Pappas served as Chair of the Science Board and member of the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association.

Omar A. Khan

Associate faculty, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (Project Officer, Baltimore AIDS Project;  Project Coordinator, South Asia Infectious Disease Network) -Adjunct Assistant Professor, Health Services Academies, Pakistan -Co-President, Cyberdocs -Honorary Adviser (Bioinformatics), Indian Council for Medical Research -North American Liaison, International AIDS Conference 2000 ( -Co-Chair, International Health Geographics Conference 2000 (


Dr. Geoffrey Tabin

"Dr. Geoffrey Tabin graduated from Yale in 1978, received his M.A. from Oxford (on a Marshall
Scholarship), and his M.D. from Harvard in 1985. He completed his residency at Brown University and corneal fellowship at Melbourne University. He directed the Golchha Eye Hospital in Biratnagar, Nepal and
is now codirector of Himalayan Cataract Project (Nepal), as well as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont.
Dr. Tabin is also a distinguished mountaineer, being the 4th person to reach the highest point on all 7 continents. He scaled Mt. Everest in 1988."


Sten H. Vermund, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Epidemiology and International Health
University of Alabama

Sten Vermund is an infectious disease epidemiologist with experience in tropical parasitic diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and in virus-neoplasia interactions. His current research activities include: clinical epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in Alabama, HIV in adolescents, human papillomavirus and cervical disease, correlates of protective immunity in HIV exposure or disease progression, HIV in developing countries, Pneumocystis carinii molecular epidemiology, infectious etiologies of early pre-term birth, and the ecology of oral microbial flora.

He is on the Executive Committees of the UAB Center for AIDS Research and Center for Social Medicine and STDs and also holds an appointment in the Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he heads the Epidemiology Interest Group. Furthermore, he represents the School of Public Health on the University's Research Advisory Committee.

He teaches EPI 601- Vaccinology, EPI 681/781- Special Topics in Epidemiology Research: Advanced Topics in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Epidemiologic Methods and Practical Aspects in the conduct of Clincal Trials. Dr. Vermund is also Director of Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh is a health communications consultant with a special interest in access and use of health information in developing countries. He currently moderates the HIF-net-at-WHO email discussion forum (Health Information Forum), which supports cooperation and sharing of experience among all those working to improve access to reliable information for healthcare workers in developing and transitional countries. He has a background in medicine and medical publishing, including work with the World Health Organization, the journal Medicine Digest, and the CD-ROM series Topics in International Health (Wellcome Trust). From 1996 to end-December 2004 he helped create the INASP-Health programme (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications: He has previously worked as a medical officer in rural Ecuador and Peru, and in early 2005 he is working as a volunteer with rural healthcare providers in South India to assess local priorities in access and use of health information.


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