Ambarish Dutta

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Ambarish Dutta


IIPH Bhubaneswar

After his training at medical school (Calcutta University) Dr Ambarish Dutta started his career as a public health professional in National Leprosy Elimination Programme. After a 5-year stint there he moved to provide technical assistance to the Indian TB control programme at the state and at the central level as Medical Consultant under the World Health Organization India office. Almost after spending a decade and a half in disease control programmes, he moved back to academia to complete Masters in Public Health from University of Leeds, UK and then PhD in epidemiology and public health from Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter, UK. He is currently working as additional professor of epidemiology at the Indian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, an institute of the Public Health Foundation of India. His current area of research includes malaria, TB, hypertension, maternal and child health and environmental health. As a public health professional, he also uses his epidemiological expertise in conducting implementation research and impact evaluation in different public health programmes. He also teaches epidemiology and biostatistics to post-graduate students and guides PhD scholars.

Dr Ambarish Dutta made foray into environmental health as an epidemiologist, working in a research project which was in conducted in collaboration with Odisha Disaster Management Authority, and the primary objective of which was to develop a Heatwave Action Plan for the state. He worked with all-cause mortality data and meteorological information exploring how and at what threshold ambient heat impacts health and life in Bhubaneswar city. It was the first study of its kind in India and the results of the study established that the threshold of human tolerance to environmental heat varies substantially and is also contingent upon night time temperature. It also established that the relation between heat and health is non-linear which warrants for a “traffic light” like graded warning system from meteorological and environmental agencies to steer public behavior more rationally. Dr Dutta also worked closely with National Disaster Management Authority, working in a research project supported by the national body that closely examined the vulnerability of different communities to ambient heat in three different parts of the country and explored the risk factors underlying the vulnerability. This helped him and his co-researchers to identify various dietary, behavioural and structural drivers of heat-related susceptibility of communities. He has also engaged with different personnel positioned at various levels of the state public health system, mainly in building their capacity to foresee, plan, manage and evaluate heat action and response plans of the health services, so that heat related casualties of the population can be mitigated.

  1. Dutta, A., Bhattacharya, S., AK, K., Pati, S., Swain, S., & Nanda, L. (2019). At which
    temperature do the deleterious effects of ambient heat “kick-in” to affect all-cause mortality? An exploration of this threshold from an eastern Indian city. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 30(2), 187–197.
  2. Rathi S.K., Chakraborty S., Mishra S.K., Dutta A., & Nanda L. A. (2021). Heat Vulnerability Index: Spatial Patterns of Exposure, Sensitivity and Adaptive Capacity for Urbanites of Four Cities of India.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 19(1):283. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010283. PMID: 35010542; PMCID:PMC8750942.
  3. Swain S., Bhattacharya S., Dutta A., Pati S., & Nanda L. (2019). Vulnerability and Adaptation to Extreme Heat in Odisha, India: A Community Based Comparative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16(24):5065.
  4. Nanda L., Chakraborty S., Mishra S.K., Dutta A., & Rathi S.K. (2022). Characteristics of Households’ Vulnerability to Extreme Heat: An Analytical Cross-Sectional Study from India. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19(22):15334.