Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta’s career has focused on the improvement of child and maternal health and nutrition among marginalized and rural populations, using evidence based strategies and interventions to improve outcomes in the “first thousand days” of life (pregnancy, childbirth, and the first two years of life). Developing a unique collaboration between centres in Pakistan, United Kingdom and Canada, Bhutta has mobilized cluster randomized effectiveness trials (cRCTs) to gather data used to shape and improve intervention packages for community based maternal and newborn care, nutrition, and early childhood development.
Dr. Bhutta’s work has been the foundation of multiple international guidelines, including changing WHO policy on the treatment of persistent diarrhea and malnutrition along with establishing lady health workers (LHW) as foundational members of community-based interventions in Pakistan, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Further, his work provided the basis for the “Lancet 10” nutritional interventions used to inform global policy on malnutrition. Over the last two decades, his work on evidence-based interventions has helped guide global action plans to improve newborn health and survival. His rigorous approach to investigation has also challenged conventional wisdom, illustrating both the possibilities and limitations of vital interventions like community health workers.
Dr. Bhutta has worked extensively in low resource areas, using sustainable interventions that are available and affordable to disadvantaged populations. Through systematic investigation and analysis, he has established the foundations for current understandings of maternal and child health in rural, remote and conflict affected regions, and improved the survival and outcomes of world’s most vulnerable women and children.