The Avoidable Deaths Network is operated by the Presidents, Operations Team, Advisory Board Members and Regional Coordinators.
Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett
Founding President and Convenor
Nibedita leads the development and implementation of strategy for ADN’s growth, public engagement activities, raises grants, produces the Newsletters, Bulletins, line manages the Operation Team, initiates, and leads novel networks.
Nibedita is an Associate Professor in Risk Management based at the University of Leicester’s School of Business. She is the Programme Director for the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management. Nibedita is a social scientist specialising in disaster risk reduction and international development at the interface with public health. She is the author of Caste, Class and Gender in Multiple Disasters (2009, VDM Verlag) and Avoidable Deaths (2017, Springer Nature). Currently, she is working on her third monograph ‘Avoidable Deaths from the Impact of COVID-19 and Economic Lockdown in India’ (working title).
Nibedita’s research is inter-disciplinary and currently focusses on: i) understanding the nuances of ‘vulnerabilities’ and ‘risks’ that exist in societies and the seams of disaster management organisations; ii) developing the capacity of disaster responders including the health workforce at primary health care for the continuity of sexual and reproductive health services during disasters and crises; iii) reducing disaster mortality and morbidity, especially of women and adolescent girls from post-abortion complications during disasters and crises through the use of RHCC intervention; and iv) reducing avoidable deaths from the direct and indirect effect of disasters through novel theories, methods and interventions (e.g. RHCC intervention, Facility Reproductive Health Kit and Crisis Reproductive Health Kit, avoidable deaths framework).
Dr. Hideyuki Shiroshita
As the Founding President of the ADN, Hideyuki works closely with Nibedita for the development of ADN’s strategy and plans and in the delivery of the public engagement activities, manages the poll surveys for knowledge exchange events, IT, conducts research analysis and leads the ADN’s Junior Champion project in Japan.
Hideyuki is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School and Faculty of Societal Safety Sciences, Kansai University in Japan. He is an affiliate member of the Disaster and Development Network (DDN) at Northumbria University, UK. His research interests are in the areas of disaster education, risk communication and Science, Technology and Society (STS). To overcome the conventional disaster education, which involves one-way knowledge transmission from experts on disaster risk reduction (DRR) to non-experts, the definition of disaster education is revisited from both DRR and pedagogical perspectives. He has also served as an advisor of disaster education to several governmental committees. Currently, he is the chairperson of the Osaka Prefectural committee for promoting safety and disaster education.
Dr. Madhulika Sahoo
Madhulika Sahoo, a distinguished Anthropologist with a focus on gender and health, currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and as the Director of Student Welfare and Placement at Kalahandi University, Odisha, India. Her research pursuits include indigenous health, disaster displacement, reproductive health, and digital anthropology.
Beyond her academic responsibilities, Madhulika contributes significantly as the Editing Manager and Regional Coordinator-India at ADN. She has recently assumed the role of an Academic Editor at PLOS ONE Journal. She also leads a project titled ‘A Novel Deep Learning Model to Identify Cyberbullying and its impact on Mental health of the Youth in India’, which receives funding from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Recently, Madhulika edited a book titled ‘Ethnography Research in the Social Sciences’ (2023, Routledge). She earned a PhD in Social Anthropology from the National Institute of Technology Rourkela, India, and an MA in Refugee Studies from the University of East London, UK.
Ms. Denise Corsel
A Researcher in the School of Business, University of Leicester, UK. As a dedicated and enthusiastic researcher, Denise Corsel is currently studying part-time for a PhD in Management at the University of Leicester’s School of Business, while working on numerous research projects. In the past, she served as an Associate Tutor at Leicester’s Civil Safety and Security Unit. She has previously been awarded a Distinction for a MSc degree in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management and gained a Private Pilot License. Denise’s ambition is to work closely with people to improve communities’ lives all around the world, especially in relation to the hazards that are increasingly imposing themselves onto humanity.
Follow Denise on LinkedIn.
Mr. Shahidul Hoque
Shahidul Hoque is responsible for the smooth and effective coordination of ADN activities and lends his support to the organization of events and meetings for ADN.
A practitioner in the fields of public health and disaster management, Shahidul has previously held the position of research manager at icddr,b. He is currently involved in the research activities of an international organization, focusing on women, children, and refugee health in Bangladesh. This work is conducted in collaboration with several universities in the United States and Canada. Shahidul has a history of conducting implementation research and has experience in the administration of maternal and child health programs. He has also been instrumental in establishing a network of facilities aimed at reducing preventable deaths among mothers, children, and others in the southern region of Bangladesh.
Shahidul Hoque holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University, Bangladesh.
Dr. Winifred Ekezie
Evidence Synthesis Coordinator
Winifred is at the forefront of gathering and coordinating crucial information from a variety of sources, which are instrumental in project planning and public health initiatives. She lends her methodological expertise to the development of interventions and the systematic synthesis of evidence, which includes the identification of pertinent resources, overseeing evidence screening, data extraction, analysis, and reporting.
As an epidemiologist, Winifred’s interests lie in human displacement, migration, vulnerable populations, health systems, and sustainable interventions. She has a track record of monitoring and evaluating primary healthcare services, including services for adolescents, mothers, and children. Her proven skills lie in the development of health promotion interventions, conducting global systematic reviews, and public policy. Her primary research interests encompass health issues induced by disasters, community engagement, health communication, and health service disparities among marginalised and seldom-heard groups. Her research primarily focuses on the accessibility of essential health services in disaster scenarios, the provision of standard health guidance, and vaccine communication. She is also an active member of the Health in Internal Displacement Network, contributing to a range of issues in internal displacement settings.
Dr. Aditya Ghosh
Science Society Interface Researcher
As the Science Society Interface Researcher, Aditya conducts research to understand how science can be applied at the policy level to minimise disaster deaths. He is the in-house academic editor and disseminates ADN’s work with the press and media.
Aditya Ghosh specialises in human geography, political ecology, development studies, environmental justice, postcolonial studies, media and cultural studies. He has won several prestigious global awards including Chevening from the UK-FCO, DAAD (German academic exchange – Federal government of Germany) and Chancellor’s endowment (Sussex University). He has worked and studied at the universities of Heidelberg and Leuphana, Germany; Sussex-IDS and Lincoln, UK; Arizona State University, USA. His monograph titled “Sustainability conflicts in Coastal India: (2018-Springer-Nature https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-63892-8), and an edited volume titled, The Tides of Life: Surviving between the margins (Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Ministry of Culture, Government of India ISBN: 978-81-942224-1-5) examines various aspects of climate change, disaster risks and sustainability challenges in the Sundarbans. In his previous career spanning 12 years, Aditya was an editor and journalist with globally reputable media organisations. He has worked with Encyclopaedia Britannica, written for The Guardian, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Asia House UK, Scidev.Net apart from working in senior editorial positions at the Hindustan Times and The Times of India, two of India’s largest English language newspapers. Fortunately he left journalism when the media world plunged into the post-truth era.
Mr. Abdullahi O. Umar
Global Campaign Coordinator
Abdullahi collaborates with the Operations Team to initiate and oversee the ADN Chapters. He also lends his support to the execution of the ADN’s IAD4AD Strategy.
With approximately 20 years of experience in civil aviation, Abdullahi is an expert in the field. He possesses a global certification from ACI-ICAO as an Airport Safety Professional (ASP). As the Chief Operations Officer at the airport, he supervises aerodrome operations, safety, and emergency management. In 2021, he offered his voluntary services to the ADN project ‘Exploring the Feasibility and Value of a Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths in the Caribbean Region’. He is driven by his passion to utilize his skills and knowledge to aid vulnerable individuals in surviving disasters through Disaster Risk Reduction, Crisis and Disaster Risk Management, and Sustainable Development.
Abdullahi earned an MSc in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester. He can be found on LinkedIn.
Mr. Alex Skinner
As an Administrative Coordinator, Alex manages the ADN’s Eastern Belt Network Project. Alex is working with colleagues to create a network of higher education institutions with courses covering avoidable deaths, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. This includes assisting in development of a research report and subsequent network launch strategy. Additionally, Alex maintains minutes for internal coordination meetings, produces social media content and monitors funding opportunities.
Alex is a British diplomat currently posted to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he focuses on communications and climate change, including UK-Denmark collaboration on COP26. He has an MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, and wrote his dissertation on intergovernmental coordination in international crisis response. Alex has led international crisis response teams in information management, planning, and consular assistance at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and at Global Affairs Canada. This included on Caribbean hurricanes, terrorist attacks in Europe, major aviation incidents and COVID-19. When not responding to crises, he delivered crisis training and exercises at Embassies in the Middle East and North Africa, represented government in military exercises, and developed emergency management policy. Alex is fluent in French and Spanish.
Follow Alex on LinkedIn.
Mr. Lasith Dissanayake
Lasith Dissanayake is a PhD research student in Health at the University of South Wales, UK with research interests in youth mental health, health of vulnerable populations and community engagement and involvement in research. Since 2013, Lasith has been involved in public health research projects conducted in Sri Lanka funded by Medical Research Council & Welcome Trust, UK. He has conducted both literature and systematic reviews for various projects and academic programs in Sri Lanka and the UK.
Ms. Lauren MacLeod
Activity Coordinator/ Research Administrator
As the Research Administrator, Lauren supports Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett on projects related to snakebites, drowning, first responders, COVID-19 and sexual and reproductive health. As an Activity Coordinator, she coordinates activities related to the Global Campaign: International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths and the Country Chapters and Hubs. Additionally Lauren contributes to writing publications and resources with the ADN team. Currently, she in based at the ADN India Hub in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Lauren has a Master of Science in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester.
Ms. Marina Yagi
ADN Japan Manager
Marina is a diligent senior student with a focus on teaching English writing to Japanese beginners. Her academic interest lies in the area of Self-regulated Learning. She is currently specializing in ADN and is based in Japan, working primarily under the guidance of Mr. Shiroshita.
In addition to her studies, Marina assumes the responsibility of notetaking in the absence of Hideyuki, ensuring he is kept informed about the discussions of the day. She also contributes to writing chapters.
Marina holds a degree from the Faculty of Foreign Language at Kansai University. Her commitment to her field of study and her proactive approach to her responsibilities are commendable.
Dr. Nimra Choudhary
Knowledge Exchange Public Engagement Coordinator
Nimra has co-managed and chaired the Special Session webinar Series on Women’s Stories of Survival, Innovation, Resilience and Development and has led hybrid Special Sessions and capacity-building workshops in Pakistan. Additionally, she has engaged with the project ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’.
Nimra is currently studying her Masters in Public Health from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and her areas of interest is Disaster Risk Management and maternal and newborn deaths. A doctor by profession and having a clinical experience of several years, Nimra has decided to explore the field of public health to better understand the determinants of health and its impacts on the wider community, especially the vulnerable population like women, children, disabled, etc.
Mr. Rajesh Kumar Patro
Field Research Coordinator
To oversee the repair and refurbishment of CaSA, create and maintain a network of high-risk groups for snakebites in Burujhari village, map local health facilities, assist with outreach programmes in Burujhari and coordinate and communicate regularly with the ADN India Hub, ADN UK and Japan team.
Before joining ADN, Rajesh worked with the Indian Council of Medical Research as a Research intern for two projects namely, ‘National wide study to estimate incidence, mortality, morbidity, and economic burden due to snakebite in India’
Rajesh is passionate about reducing snakebite deaths in rural Odisha.
He holds Master in Public Health from Utkal University, Odisha.
Follow Rajesh on LinkedIn
Ms. Isha Biswas
Isha Biswas plays a crucial role in the research team at ADN, where she contributes to a variety of projects, including the SRH project, snakebite project, and drowning project. Her duties involve conducting database searches, carrying out systematic and literature reviews, and preparing reports for these projects.
With a foundation in epidemiology, public health, and biotechnology research, Isha currently focuses her research on the effects of yoga on chronic diseases such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. This research includes both quantitative and qualitative systematic reviews. She also expresses a strong interest in neglected tropical diseases and disaster management.
Ms. Racheal Nantume
Racheal is an active volunteer for ADN projects, taking on responsibilities such as data collection and report writing. She plays a crucial role in the team that evaluates drowning data collection processes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Her past involvements include assisting with the Symposium on Integrating Disaster Risk Management with Emergency Services and Defense to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths and contributing to ADN’s Special Sessions knowledge exchange events.
As a civil engineer by training and a professional in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management, Racheal applies her research skills and risk theories to assess real-world problems. Her engagement with ADN not only allows her to stay updated with the latest trends in the risk management field but also aligns with her passion for reducing avoidable disaster deaths. Racheal takes a keen interest in the governance aspect of ADN’s mandate and her research projects with ADN enable her to make a positive impact on communities she may not be able to physically reach.
Racheal has earned an MSc in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, UK. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Ms. Anusha Manahil
Since joining ADN, Anusha has been involved with the Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) in the Caribbean project through data collection and in graphic design, creating posters and leaflets. Additionally, Anusha managed Junior Champion, Arkoneil Ghosh with projects related to Drowning Risk.
Recently, Anusha was the Head Of Policy Research at Tahafuzpak. Anusha has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Management and Technology (UMT) in Lahore, Pakistan. There she was President of the student-run Governance Innovation Initiative. Prior to this, Anusha studied at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, USA. She has also worked with the NEIU newspaper to bring awareness through her blogs, personal stories and experiences about mental health, individual rights and climate action. Anusha finds contentment in learning, researching and writing to bring about change in her local and global community.
Follow Anusha on LinkedIn.
Ms. Srashta Chowdhury
Srashta worked on the Eastern Belt Network Project team to develop a network of higher education institutions across ten eastern states of India. Additionally, she contributed to the systematic literature review for the project entitled ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’.
She graduated from University of Calcutta, India with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geography. She is currently a doctoral fellow in the Department of Geography and Applied Geography, University of North Bengal, India. Her research is focused on gender geography, population geography and higher education and academia.
Mr. Biswajit Paul
Biswajit Paul, a geographer with a specialization in geospatial technology, has been an integral part of the Eastern Belt Network Project team. His work has led to the development of a network among higher education institutions across ten eastern states of India. He has also made significant contributions to a systematic literature review for a project titled ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’.
His research primarily involves the analysis of spatial data and the mapping of both natural and anthropogenic disasters. The data he provides are critical for effective disaster response and mitigation. Biswajit’s expertise also extends to transportation network analysis, where he leverages geospatial data to optimize routes and enhance efficiency, thereby contributing to the creation of sustainable cities. His work demonstrates the transformative power of geospatial technology in addressing some of society’s and nature’s most pressing challenges.
Ms. Kelly Litsoung
Future Leader Intern
Under the guidance of Dr. Nimra Choudhary and Ms. Nimisha Goswami, Kelly has interned on the Special Session Webinar Series on Women’s Stories of Survival, Innovation, Resilience and Development. Additionally, Kelly has worked on editing a proofreading documents for the project entitled ‘Exploring the Feasibility and Value of a Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths in the Caribbean’.
Kelly is currently an MSc student in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management at the University of Leicester. Passionate about natural hazards, she graduated from the University of the Western Cape in 2018 in Applied Geology, then she started an MSc program in Geophysics at the Karlsruhe Institute to further her knowledge of the topics. After an insightful Volcanological Risk field trip in Stromboli in Italy, she chose to specialize in Disaster Management to prevent catastrophes and decrease the number of casualties. She completed a Global Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Pathway online course through the Humanitarian Leadership Academy which increased her interest in raising awareness and building resilience followed by effective disaster recovery response programs.
Darshanika Dinushi Arambegedara
Future Leader intern
Darshanika works with ADN Presidents and Deputy Operations Coordinator. She also attends the monthly meetings of ADN and the project meetings held every fortnight to deliver the tasks assigned.
Darshanika is a PhD candidate at the University of South Wales in Molecular Microbiology with professional experience in laboratory work. She engages in the RHCC project at ADN.
Darshanika has an MSc in Analytical Forensic Science from the University of South Wales
Ms. Ayesha Butt
Future Leader Intern, RH Project-Bangladesh
Ayesha has successfully attained a post-graduate certificate in clinical research, demonstrating a strong commitment to advancing her expertise in the field. Her professional experience as a research assistant has been primarily focused on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, where she has actively contributed to the operational aspects of various clinical research projects throughout their lifecycle, from inception to completion.
In her role, Ayesha has honed valuable skills in conducting systematic reviews and proficiently performing both qualitative and quantitative analyses. Her dedication to rigorous research methodologies and attention to detail have played a pivotal role in the successful execution of these projects. Ayesha’s comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of clinical research has allowed her to make meaningful contributions to advancing scientific knowledge within the context of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Overall, Ayesha’s academic achievements and hands-on experience position her as a highly qualified professional with a robust skill set in clinical research, particularly in the realm of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Future Leader Intern
Shafkat is an experienced professional with over a decade of experience in the public health sector, specializing in child injury prevention, violence prevention, and health system strengthening. Currently, he is dedicated to the project titled “Prototyping Facility and Crisis Reproductive Health Kits in Bangladesh,” where he meticulously handles all administrative and logistics tasks. His role involves providing essential support to the Principal Investigator and collaborators in the completion of the Toolkit, packaging, and the development of a proof of concept and commercialization pathway for the kits.
Having worked on numerous injury prevention projects in Bangladesh throughout his career, Shafkat brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the field. He recently earned recognition as an emerging leader in drowning prevention and has actively contributed to the drafting of the National Drowning Prevention Strategy of Bangladesh.
Shafkat’s academic background includes a master’s degree in public health from North South University, Bangladesh, and he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Bournemouth University, UK. His commitment to advancing public health is evident in his participation in international conferences, workshops, and meetings, where he not only shares his research findings but also provides technical support to fellow professionals. Additionally, Shafkat has contributed significantly to the scholarly community with the publication of seven scientific articles and several abstracts in various peer-reviewed journals.
Master Arkoneil Ghosh
Arkoneil Ghosh, currently studying at Jamnabai Narsee International School in Mumbai, boasts proficiency in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali, and Chinese, and possesses basic communication skills in Japanese. His coding passion has driven him to participate in projects that educate underprivileged children in Dharavi, Mumbai.
Since 2020, Arkoneil has actively participated in ADN as a Junior Champion, playing a crucial role in raising awareness about preventable deaths. In June 2022, he assumed the role of an administrator for the IAD4AD Committee and established himself as the Founding Editor of the Junior Champion Magazine, intensifying his fight against drowning deaths.
Arkoneil’s literary skills shine through his science fiction and detective-themed books. He has also mentored the Jamnabai Adolescent Member team, guiding his peers and juniors. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he launched crowdfunding projects to supply masks to Mumbai’s police force.
His philanthropic activities reach beyond India’s borders, with his books being published in Goya, Argentina, and his sponsorship of a school for underprivileged children. As the Joint Secretary of the Rotaract Club, Mumbai West, he has showcased his leadership abilities.
With aspirations to become a computational neuroscientist and dreams of joining Interpol to enhance global safety, Arkoneil pursues academic courses from Harvard Law School. His professional profile is available on LinkedIn.
Miss Prarthona Datta
Prarthona Datta is a second-generation racialized youth studying in grade 10 at Central Memorial High School in Calgary, Canada. Her areas of interest include youth actions to build climate change resilience, children’s land-based learning activities, youth-led cross-cultural community gardens, and land-based arts activities (dance, music, and art).
Anushka Konar attends 12th grade at La Martiniere for Girls School, Kolkata, West Bengal. She has lent her voice and creativity to Junior Champions Magazine. She demonstrates her writing skills and dedication to amplifying youth perspectives. Beyond her academic pursuits, Anushka is driven by a noble cause, aiming to contribute her skills and energy towards the betterment of society. She is eager to advocate for the concerns and aspirations of the unheard voices of youth. With a profound enthusiasm for science and a heart brimming with the desire to make a positive impact, Anushka brings a blend of curiosity and commitment to this organization.
She has completed her 10th-grade board examinations and is pursuing her +2 level education in the science stream. As a part of the Science Club of her school, she has contributed to various magazines and materials published by the Club.