Patralekha Chatterjee is an award-winning journalist-columnist, author, and consultant to international agencies focusing on development issues across multiple platforms. As a journalist and consultant, she has brought to the national and international consciousness the crucial importance of transdisciplinary factors in the provision of public healthcare. Since the 1990s, she has consistently foregrounded the role of economic, political, social, cultural, and educational factors in public health in India where she lives and other developing countries. She has effectively widened the scope of popular writing on health and development and broken many silos by showing how issues such as equity, sexual orientation, affordability of medicines, gender discrimination, forced displacement, migration, urbanization, provision of water supply, heatwaves and increased frequency of vector-borne diseases caused by climate are inter-linked and affect healthcare.
Right from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatterjee has brought to the attention of policymakers the importance of affordable medicines; the impact of loss of livelihood, especially among daily wage earners and informal workers without an adequate social safety net; the importance of primary healthcare facilities in rural settings in the global South, without which it becomes that much more difficult to handle a pandemic. She also covered HIV/AIDS in India from its early years. She has been especially consistent in drawing attention to economic, social, cultural and gender determinants of maternal and infant malnutrition and morbidity and mortality rates.
Chatterjee’s writings have appeared in The Lancet, British Medical Journal, reports for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNDP, UN-Habitat, IRIN (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), the outlets of international and national think tanks and nonprofits and numerous mass media outlets, including The Atlantic (Ideas), New Statesman, MediaPart, Citiscope, BBC.com, Liberation, Panos, The New Internationalist, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, MSNBC.com, Khaleej Times, Inter Press Service, Intellectual Property Watch, The Economic Times, Sunday, The Hindustan Times, Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle, Amar Ujala, The Hindu, Business Line, NewsClick, and Gaon Connection.
Chatterjee has won several awards and fellowships, both nationally and internationally, and speaks English, French, Bengali, and Hindi. She has lived in India, France, and the United Kingdom and reported from more than 20 countries.