Dr. Leslie Mancuso, Jhpiego President and Chief Executive Officer, and members of her leadership team visited the organization’s programs in India this week. The group toured a hospital in Sikar, Rajasthan, where Jhpiego is helping improve maternal and newborn health services; attended a national family planning meeting in New Delhi; and helped host a special event for government leaders, health professionals, partners and Jhpiego alumni. Among the alumni recognized was Dr. Chandrawati Gujarati (third from right), a respected physician and champion of high-quality family planning services who is profiled below.
The doctor who has championed high-quality family planning services in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh is known by her first name—Dr. Chandrawati. She is a respected clinician, admired in the community after spending more than three decades working to ensure that women in this most populous state in India receive the reproductive health care services they need and deserve.
During her years as chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the prestigious King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, Dr. Chandrawati Gujarati joined Jhpiego in an innovative project to strengthen the provision of family planning services by improving the skills of health care providers. In the 1990s, Dr. Ron Magarick, currently Jhpiego’s Vice President, Technical Leadership, recruited Dr. Chandrawati to direct the Innovations in Family Planning Services (IFPS) Project because of her leadership in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and influence on reproductive health services in the state.
Dr. Chandrawati and her colleagues at King George’s Medical University used a competency-based approach, introduced by Jhpiego, to train physicians, nurses and midwives to become experienced family planning providers. This model of learning in family planning became the gold standard for the state, and training programs continue to be based on this foundation. Efforts of the IFPS Project, with technical support from Jhpiego, have contributed to the overall progress of family planning in Uttar Pradesh, including an increase in contraceptive use and spacing of pregnancies.
Calling herself a friend and ally of Jhpiego, Dr. Chandrawati says she has learned a lot from the organization. “I have formed a lifelong association with Jhpiego,” she explains. That association includes her designation as a master trainer in family planning through Jhpiego-supported workshops.
“I have seen many women and children die for want of access to spacing methods,” says Dr. Chandrawati, who spent a significant part of her career educating service providers in Uttar Pradesh using the family planning learning module and competency-based approach developed under the IFPS Project.
Since retiring from King George’s Medical University, Dr. Chandrawati has continued her work in Lucknow by managing the Krishna Medical Center as well as the Krishna Nursing and Paramedical Institute. She also runs Women’s Health Improvement and Education Lucknow, a nongovernmental organization that regularly establishes health camps throughout the state.
A lifelong advocate of healthy births and thriving families, Dr. Chandrawati has made a lasting impact on the way family planning is taught—not only at King George’s Medical University, but throughout Uttar Pradesh state. At 70, she remains a passionate advocate for providing suitable family planning choices to couples who need them the most.