Prasanta Tripathy is Secretary and Director of Ekjut – an NGO based in India involved in community-based studies to improve maternal and child health in the underserved districts of India. He is also an ASHOKA Fellow and a LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) Fellow. Ekjut’s collaborative work won the Trial of the Year from Society for clinical Trials in 2011.
By engaging communities in interactive storytelling and game sessions, Prasanta helps them comprehend and overcome an intricate web of social, cultural, medical and economical causes leading to death and disease among them. This strategy has led to 45 percent reduction of infant mortality in three years. Working in the poorest areas that have almost no access to primary healthcare, Prasanta capitalizes on the most universal resource to improve infant mortality rates, namely the will of the mothers to ensure healthy lives for the children. He is increasing the ability of mothers and communities, as the first care providers, to identify health problems and respond to them effectively.