Kamran Abbasi, Executive Editor, The BMJ, talks about how there have been improvements in South Asia’s health scenario.
In 2004 we published a special theme issue of The BMJ on South Asia. Since then BMJ (the publishing group) has retained and expanded its interest in the region, and since 2013, The BMJ's website has offered a dedicated homepage for readers in South Asia, where all content relevant to the region is currently freely available.
Since then more than 40 000 users have been visiting thebmj.com from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Maldives every month, and we have been publishing more articles aimed at South Asian readers. One, by David Berger, described his experience at a rural hospital in India and led to a high profile campaign by The BMJ to tackle corruption in healthcare. The issue received widespread media coverage which led to substantial pressure on the government to commit to change. In a first, the then health minister of India acknowledged rampant corruption in medical regulatory bodies and vowed to take steps to improve transparency and bring to book doctors engaging in corrupt practices.
Our news editor, Zosia Kmietowicz has been commissioning news. Our deputy magazine editor, Richard Hurley, has taken on the additional role of South Asian features and comment editor and will be commissioning comment articles that prioritise healthcare issues in the region. Our India based clinical editor, Anita Jain, is commissioning education content relevant to practice in the region. Anita is based in Mumbai and has been guiding the development of our editorial output for readers in South Asia since the early days.
Prashant Jha, senior editor, South Asia, at The BMJ, oversees nominations and judging for our annual South Asia Awards, works on the Analysis section and looks at health news and views among other tasks.
BMJ has had staff based in India since 2008. Prashant Mishra is the managing director of the India hub and has worked for BMJ India since then. The local team in India has expanded over the years and now includes sales and marketing as well as editorial colleagues. Most of these staff members work from one of two offices—one in Noida and the other in Mumbai. BMJ also has an editorial advisory board in South Asia (see a list of its members).
The BMJ continues to bring in special collections of articles on South Asia. In 2017, The BMJ published a collection of articles on South Asia with the aim of revisiting existing challenges and addressing those that have emerged since our previous theme issue. We worked with experts from across the region to guide us and contribute. Explore this collection at this link. More such collections are planned in future.
Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, from Aga Khan University, and Dr Samiran Nundy from the Ganga Ram Postgraduate institute for Medical Education and research, join Anita Jain to discuss the key issues affecting the South Asia region now.
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Please contact Zosia Kmietowicz (firstname.lastname@example.org) about news stories and Richard Hurley (email@example.com) about feature and comment articles to discuss your idea. Please contact Anita Jain (firstname.lastname@example.org) about education content and Kelly Brendel (email@example.com) about opinion pieces.
Senior editor, South Asia
Clinical editor (education)
South Asia features and comment editor
Senior news editor