September 24, 2021

The Friday Morning Seminar on September 24, 2021 features Drs. Sandeep Nanwani, Santi Kusumaningrum, and Veronika Kusumaryati, who will speak in a session titled, “COVID in Indonesia: The Global Response and the Betrayal of Global Health?” We will also have the pleasure of having Dr. Paul Farmer as a commentator, along with a great panel of discussants including Drs. Reza Idria, Aryo Danusiri, Ana Mariana, and Cokorda Raka Gekko Dananjaya.

As Indonesia saw a terrible spike in cases of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, linked to the Delta variant, there was remarkably little global response. Many Indonesian public health leaders and activists, particularly those trained in programs in global health in the United States, felt a sense of betrayal. Some went so far as to ask whether there is any reality to ‘global health’ given the global response to COVID. This session, led by Dr Sandeep Nanwani, former MMSc student at Harvard, takes up the current situation in Indonesia through reports from particular locales, and places this in conversation with questions about the global response to this pandemic. Prof Paul Farmer will join the conversation about what this pandemic tells us about the reality of ‘global health.’


Sandeep Nanwani, MD, MMSc is a physician and public health practitioner. He is the human rights focal person and adolescent sexual and reproductive health programme officer for UNFPA. He provides technical support to Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to develop comprehensive sexuality education programs in schools and community settings. He leads the UN advocacy for the sexual violence bill and criminal codes.   He serves in the board and as a technical advisor to Kebaya foundation, a community based HIV shelter and outreach and social support service for homeless people living with HIV. He also serves an advisor to Pesona Jakarta foundation, an outreach NGO for men who have sex with men in Jakarta.

Santi Kusumaningrum, PhD is the Director and Principal Investigator of PUSKAPA (Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing) –a think-tank based at Universitas Indonesia. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor for Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and teaches at Criminology Department Universitas Indonesia. With PUSKAPA, santi does research to inform actions, turns evidence into policy proposals, undertakes advocacy and program implementation, and mobilizes young people’s capacity to reform Indonesia’s protection and care system, civil registration and data governance, and access to justice, so all children enjoy equal opportunities to thrive. She was trained in Criminology and Social Policy in Universitas Indonesia and got her Doctorate in Public Health from Columbia University. In the academic world, Santi seeks to build scientific and ethical rigour in social justice. Santi has published in, among all, The Lancet, PLoS One, and BMC International Health and Human Rights

Veronika Kusumaryati, PhD is an anthropologist focusing on the questions of colonialism/postcoloniality, race and violence in West Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua. She holds a PhD from the department of anthropology at Harvard and now is a postdoctoral fellow at the Edmund A Walsch School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


  • Paul Farmer, MD, PhD; Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
  • Reza Idria, MA (Leiden), PhD (Harvard, Dept of Anthropology); Assistant Professor, UIN Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
  • Aryo Danusiri, PhD (Harvard, Dept of Anthropology); Assistant Professor, Dept of Anthropology, University of Indonesia, Jakarta
  • Cokorda Raka Gekko Dananjaya, MD; Physician, Financial Supervisor, and Case Manager focusing on non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health in limited-resource settings in Indonesia.
  • Ana Mariana, MD; Clinical Operations Manager at Docta Indonesia and the founder of Global Health Indonesia.

For videos of previous seminars, please contact Sadeq Rahimi.