Lokesh Bhatt, MS GHPM'18 (Nepal)

Lokesh Bhatt, MS GHPM'18

Lokesh Bhatt comes to Brandeis from one of the most remote Himalayan districts in far western Nepal. He recalls the arduous journey he had to take to get to school each day—a three-hour round-trip trek by foot.  

“There are many disparities in Nepal,” Bhatt says. For example, “we don’t have enough health services in the rural areas. But if you go to other parts, we have everything.” 

He became particularly aware of those differences when he went to Kathmandu, the capital city, to continue his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in public health.

“I’ve worked with different populations in Nepal, different communities,” says Bhatt. His work has ranged from administering HIV programs for Bhutanese refugees to malaria monitoring for the Nepalese government to studying malnutrition in children and pregnant women in rural Nepal.

“I realized, if you don’t have proper policy, if you don’t have appropriate systems in place, working in any activity or any project is not enough,” says Bhatt, who also holds a master’s degree in public health. “You have to work with policy. I wanted to learn how policy impacts the change in our communities.”

That’s why Bhatt chose Heller. Here, he hopes to gain a global perspective on public health, and use the knowledge and skills from his education here to develop evidence-based policies focused on reducing maternal and child malnutrition in Nepal.

With a Heller education, “I can think from a new perspective: why do those disparities exist and how can we address them? I can contribute to reduce that gap,” he says.