Mukta Sharma, PhD
Regional Advisor, HIV/AIDS Hepatitis and Tuberculosis, WHO South East Asia Regional Office
I am a strategic thinker committed to public health, with strong analytical and communication skills. With over two decades of experience in high level advocacy, technical leadership and enabling community partnerships. I have Board experience as Former Board member and Chair of the Board, International Harm Reduction Association (now Harm Reduction International).
Key skills include:
- Technical experience in substance use, HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment, Hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child health, and tuberculosis in vulnerable and high risk groups.
- Over fifteen years with UNAIDS, UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO). Good in-depth understanding of UN agencies, and donors such as Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria, USAID and AusAID. Skilled at working in partnership with Ministries of Health, law enforcement, community partners, and sub-national stakeholders.
- Multilingual and used to working in culturally diverse settings – with varying levels of competence in German, French, Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Bengali and Thai.
- Specific expertise in supporting large programmes in the public sector, including development and costing of National Strategic Plans, developing investment cases and supporting sustainable financing approaches including Universal Health Coverage, and development of HIV-TB Concept Notes for the GFATM
- Expertise in managing evaluations and conducting programme reviews
- Understanding of health systems challenges in South Asia and Mekong Region and Former Yugoslav countries – with direct work experience in Thailand, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Viet Nam, China, Myanmar, Bosnia Herzegovina.
I intend to draw on my expertise to contribute to the expansion of GLEPHA’s mission, and to encourage the public health sector, particularly in the Global South, to better understand the intersections our field has with policing, law enforcement, and in advocating alternative approaches to the criminal justice system.
Recent roles include:
- WHO SEARO 05/02/18 -Current: Regional Advisor, HIV/AIDS Hepatitis and TB – supporting eleven countries in WHO South East Asia Region for development and implementation of policies and interventions for Ending HIV and TB, including advocating for real community engagement and broader partnerships with a range of stakeholders.
- WHO Thailand, Programme Manager, TB/Hepatitis/HIV Jan 2017 as the team lead for communicable diseases with overall responsibility for HIV, TB, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vaccine Preventable Diseases and migrant health and support a team of four professional and general service staff to deliver results agreed with donors and MoPH counterparts. Specifically, I provided technical assistance to the MoPH on TB as Thailand continues to be a high burden setting and have supported the introduction and roll out of rapid diagnostic methods, supported the amendment of the monitoring frameworks and other key activities as part of Ending TB in Thailand. I also support MoPH on HIV and Hepatitis (development of National HIV Strategic Plan) and drafted the funding request for GFATM.
- Technical Officer, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, March 2012 – 2016. In this role I established a strong collaboration, and a relationship of mutual trust with the Thai MoPH, to support them in operationalizing and articulating public health priority actions for addressing TB, HIV and STI control.
- Team Leader, Regional Technical Coordination Unit, Bangkok, HIV AIDS Asia Regional Programme (HLSP), September 2009 – March 2012. Main achievements – provision of technical assistance to AUD 59 million Mekong regional HIV prevention and mitigation project, through the Technical Support Unit based in Bangkok. The project supported service delivery to people who inject drugs, including screening and diagnosis for HIV, TB and STIs. Led a team of national and international staff to support knowledge management, cross border programme funds, engagement with law enforcement, development and implementation of monitoring frameworks and support to national level advocacy efforts. In this role I was overall responsible for partnerships, performance management, and communication and engagement with the client (AusAID).