Graduation day

Deakin Health Economics team

Valentine’s Day 2023 saw the glitz and glamour of Deakin University’s 2022 Graduation Ceremonies hosted at the Geelong Waterfront campus. The Deakin Health Economics team was delighted to attend the ceremony to celebrate two of our own being conferred with their PhDs.

Following the formalities of the ceremony, copious amounts of finger food, cupcakes and drinks were provided in the reception afterwards. On top of that, the DHE team had a lovely grazing lunch at a nearby bistro. This was a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work and value that Dr Ananthapavan and Dr Sultana bring to the team and to celebrate the beginning of their Alfred Deakin Post Doctoral Research Fellowship.

Alfred Deakin Post Doctoral Research Fellowship

Dr Marufa Sultana

Dr Marufa Sultana (left) and Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan (right)

Marufa begins her postdoctoral journey by expanding on her research in Bangladesh. She notes that assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children and adolescents is critical to improve efficient and equitable healthcare and resource allocation decisions. Various measurement tools are available to assess HRQoL in children, but no validated tool has been tried in Bangladesh for this population group.

‘My post-doctoral fellowship will work on developing and piloting the Bangla version EQ-5D-Y for building the HRQoL evidence for Bangladeshi children. Throughout my post-doctoral fellowship, I will be working with EuroQol group (Netherlands) and other partners including Gothenburg University (Sweden), Karolinska Institute (Sweden), University of Glasgow (UK) and the Advancement through Knowledge and Research Foundation foundation (Bangladesh),’ she says.

‘The project will pilot Bangla version EQ-5D-Y among children aged 8-18 years in Bangladesh and will later conduct a large household survey using the piloted and validated Bangla version EQ-5D-Y. Anticipated outcome includes assessment of various mode of administrations of Bangla version EQ-5D-Y, conducting a large-scaled household survey and assessment of HRQoL of children varying by socio-economic groups.’

Marufa believes that the successful completion of her fellowship will allow Bangladesh, now and into the future, to assess health status of children with standard measurement tools, with positive implications for clinicians, public health researchers, health economists and policy makers.

Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan

Jaithri is excited to begin her Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship in April this year. Her program of work is related to advancing the economic evaluation of obesity prevention interventions to inform resource allocation decision-making. Current economic evaluations generally don’t consider the full range of costs and benefits of preventive health interventions on all members of society.

‘I will undertake three studies to enhance current evaluation methods,’ says Jaithri.

‘In my first study I will develop a cost-benefit analysis framework that captures the health and environmental co-benefits of prevention interventions, second, I will quantify the cost to food companies of implementing healthy food policies, and my last study will involve valuing the preferences of consumers for features of healthy food retail environments.’

The results from these studies will enable a more holistic assessment of the economic credentials of policies to improve population diets.