After graduating from medicine and pediatrics in India, Vandana worked as a pediatric doctor in a remote community clinic for four years. Her desire to help children was strong, but she felt that if she wanted to maximise the impact of her work, she needed to turn her focus to disease prevention rather than treating the ill.
She applied for a scholarship to study the Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney and after being accepted, took the leap and moved to Australia with her husband and young daughter. Since graduating, Vandana has travelled around the world working in various pediatric roles in emergency situations and war-torn countries.
In 2000, she was working with tuberculosis patients in Kashmir. In 2005, she was a team leader providing care in the tsunami-affected Andaman and Nicobar islands. In 2009, she was in Sudan establishing community based screening for severely malnourished children. In 2014, she was part of the Ebola response team in Sierra Leone and today she is in Bhutan, working to make it the first country in the region to have zero mother-to-child transmission of HIV.