Kaajal is a research paediatrician and has worked at the Cambodia Oxford Medical Research Unit (COMRU) since June 2019. Prior to this she was based at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) since September 2018, conducting fieldwork with COMRU. She is a Paediatric Specialty Registrar in London.
Her research interests include health systems strengthening, and evaluation of programmes designed to improve child health in resource-constrained settings. She is particularly drawn to finding ways to tackle the complex global health challenge of reducing neonatal mortality, using proven, cost-effective and ethical methodology.
In 2018 she was awarded a Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Global Development Grant as seed funding to work within Angkor Hospital for Children’s (AHC) flagship Saving Babies Lives’ (SBL) Programme. Kaajal leads the research for SBL, a five-year step-wedge cluster randomised control trial aiming to sustainably decrease neonatal mortality in a rural Cambodian province by one-third. Her research focus is on developing evaluation methodologies for the implementation and impact of the comprehensive neonatal healthcare programme, which includes interventions at each level of the health system. A particular interest is evaluating the role of mentorship, as a potentially sustainable and cost-effective way to improve quality of neonatal care.