Dr Ruvandhi Nathavitharana
I am an infectious diseases physician and TB researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston. During medical school at Imperial College London, I quickly grew fascinated by infectious diseases but my particular interest in TB was sparked after a medical elective in Peru. This experience introduced me to the complexities of TB biology but also the wider scope of the challenges surrounding TB including social, political and economic factors. The decision to pursue a global health career has since given me the opportunity to work in various TB endemic countries and doing so has made me painfully aware of the risks faced by healthcare workers as well as patients. In 2015 I became a member of TB Proof and never fail to be inspired by working with a group of extraordinary individuals (many of whom are TB and DR-TB survivors) who are dedicated to our shared goal of eliminating TB.
As vice chair of the TB Proof Management Committee, I am passionate about working with TB Proof members and communities to use an evidence-based approach to advocate for the necessary resources and political will to make TB a disease of the past. I am keen to apply knowledge and insights gained from my clinical practice and research focused on TB diagnostics and transmission prevention with my passion for advocacy to improve the care of patients and healthcare workers who are at risk for TB. When addressing diseases such as TB, it is essential that clinicians and scientists also have a dual role as activists to ensure that scientific advances benefit everyone.
It is unacceptable that TB is once again the biggest infectious killer worldwide when it is largely speaking a preventable and curable disease. TB anywhere is TB everywhere– it is everyone’s problem and we must work together to end it!