- Position: Associate Professor (T&S)
- Areas of expertise: Teaching, research & technical assistance in health systems development/strengthening; human resources & leadership to the design & evaluation of public health systems in low-middle income countries.
- Email: M.A.Omar@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 6976
- Location: 1034, Level 10 Worsley Building
- Website: Researchgate | ORCID
I am an Associate Professor; Deputy Head and Teaching Coordinator of the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Developmenta.
I am a senior academic and international health systems/health management consultant, specialised in health systems development with over 40 years of low-middle income countries in teaching, research and capacity development. I have worked in several parts of the world both on long and short assignments. My professional interests range from teaching and research in health systems development and strengthening, health professional eductaion, curriculum and programme development, educational leadership, strategic health planning, human resources development, policy analysis and development - to the design and implementation of health systems development in low-middle income countries. I have been involved designing and reviewing educational programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, both in Leeds and internationally, serving in different committees and task forces, as well as in supervising and examining students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I acted as an internal examiner at the University of Leeds and external examiner in a number of universities in the UK and abroad.
Before moving to the University of Leeds (UK) in 1995, where I am an associate professor, I was a researcher/lecturer at the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanita) in Rome where I was involved in the development of a Masters programme in Health Management, conducted a number of research and carried out major international consultancy assignments. I served as Evaluation Coordinator of a major multi-country WHO-UNICEF Joint Nutrition Support Programme (JNSP) on behalf of the Government of Italy (Funder), based in Rome, New York and Geneva. I served as a consultant to a number of international organisations, such as Carter Centre, WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, EU and DFID.
From 1977 to 1986, I worked for the Ministry of Health in Somalia, first as a tutor at health personnel training institutions, then as Director of a post-basic health training centre, and later as the Head of Coordination and International Relations in the Ministry of Health. After gaining an MA in Health Management, Planning and Policy Leeds in 1988, I served as Director of the Department of Planning, Coordination and International Relations in the Ministry of Health until December 1990.
I have dedicated substantial time to establishing and developing the capacity of training institutions in a number of low income countries for nearly four decades and training hundreds of graduates and participants with innovative curricula, educational techniques and technologies, introducing post-graduate problem based learning and pioneering continuous professional development (CPD) initiatives for doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals in different parts of the world. My scientific production focuses on policy and planning, human resources development, community health and gender issues, mental health systems and aspects of the interaction between the health service providers and the end users.
My current work portfolio within the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development involves:
- Deputy Head and Teaching Coordinator at the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development
- Lead International Capacity Development and Knowledge Transfer
- Director of Specialised CPD Courses
- Module Leader for: Human Resources Planning and Development, Health Policy and Development; Training and Education Strategies, Health Systems Development and Leadership, and a number of international CPD courses, i.e. Learning and Teaching, Strategic Planning, Management and Leadership, and Policy Development and Analysis
- International development work through research, consultancies and knowledge transfer
- Focal person for international collaboration.
- Sits on a number of Faculty, Institute and Centre based Committees, such as Postgraduate Research Committees, School of Medicine Postgraduate Teaching Subcommittee, School of Medicine Postgraduate Examination Committee, Programme Directors' and Teaching Committees, and Centre's Examination Board
- Undertakes supervision of PhD, Masters and Intercalated BSc students and provides guidance on their thesis and dissertations.
I am a Fellow Academy of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, United Kingdom. I served as a consultant to World Health Organization. Eastern Mediterranean Region (WHO/EMRO) to design and conduct training needs assessment, design and deliver courses on strategic planning, leadership and Management, health policy, human resources planning and management as well as training courses on Learning and Teaching for teachers of Public Health Institute, Academy of Health Sciences and University of Khartoum, in Khartoum, Sudan.
I have worked extensively in China, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe for repeated short assignments involving teaching and technical advice.
My most recent international appointments include:
- Member of Advisory Board, International Academy of Public Health (IAPH), Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Netowrk (EMPHNET)
- Chair of Global Health Specialisation Council, International Academy of Public Health (IAPH), Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Netowrk (EMPHNET)
- Chair, Advisory Board, Department of Health Services Administration, Sharjah University, United Arab Emirates
- Board Member of Somalia’s National Institute of Health
- Teaching Coordinator, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development
- International Capacity Development & Consultancy Coordinator. Nuffield Centre for Int Health & Devel
- Programme Leader
My research interests include health systems and mental health, health systems for scattered populations, health professional education, health systems development and strengthening, mental health systems, training needs assessment and the evaluation of capacity development programmes.
Current and recent research
Evaluation of Public Health Empowerment – Surveillance for Polio Officers (PHEP-SPO) Training in Sudan
Evaluation of Training Courses on Learning and Teaching of Health Professionals in Sudan
Evaluation of Training Programme in Iran
Competency Framework for Public Health Education, International Academy of Public Health (IAPH)
Arab Board Competency Framework
Determination of Professional Qualifications of Healthcare Management in Europe (DEPROHEALTH), Leonardo da Vinci Project, funded by the European Union
Abdalla F and Omar M (2016). Sudanese Medical Diaspora: Options for contribution to health systems. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany.
Collins C, Omar M, Adhikari D, Emmel N, Chand P, Singh A, Dhakal M, Thapa D, Dhakal R (2003) Developing Health sector Decentralisation in Nepal: Collaborative Policy Development” – Final Report. Kathmandu, British Council
Collins C, Omar M, Adhikari D, Emmel N, Chand P, Singh A, Dhakal M, Thapa D, Dhakal R (2003) Developing a Programme for Effective Decentralisation in Nepal. Kathmandu, British Council
Green A; Collins C; Hagos B; Gebresellassie S; Stefanini A; Creveiro I; Ferrinho P; Adam Y; Abdullah M; Chapman Z; Omar M; Gideon J (2002) Strategic Health Planning: Guidelines for Developing Countries. Leeds: Nuffield Institute for Health.
Omar M, Barker C (1998) District Health Management Operational Manual, Balochistan. Leeds, Nuffield Institute for Health. \n
Omar M, Guerra R (1991) Joint Nutrition Support Programme: Global Evaluation", Volume I, Rome: Istituto Superiore di Sanita.
Omar M, Guerra R (1991) Joint Nutrition Support Programme: Global Evaluation", Volume II. Rome: Istituto Superiore di Sanita.
Mustafa A, Omar M, Alnair NMA, Gesmalla AAA, Ahmed NAY, Elemam N, et al. Evaluating the Effects of Training to Improve Teaching Skills of Health Sciences Educators in Sudan. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2022;13:427.
Karera MGD, Omar MA, Nabirye E, Namukwaya E, Allsop MJ. Mobile technologies for palliative cancer care in Uganda: Qualitative secondary analysis of health professional perspectives. Health Policy and Technology. 2022;11(1):100608.
Omar M. Strategies for post-conflict development of the Health Systems in Somalia: lessons from selected countries. Somali Health Action Journal. 2021; 1: https://doi.org/10.36368/shaj.v1i1.250
Shouna, G. O., Omar, M. A., Mohammed, G. K., et al. Optimising the use of antimicrobial medicines in Sudan, Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 2020; 6(1), pp.80-87.
Sargent O, Omar M. Substance use determinants in Jamaican under-25s: family, peers, spirituality and maltreatment (literature review). BJPsych Open. 2021;7(S1):S286-S7.
Omar MA. Strengthening district health management in low-middle income countries: Reflections and way forward. Jurnal Administras Kesehatan Indonesia.2020; 8(2): 123-140. ISSN 2303-3592
Omar M, et al. Enhancing Teaching Skills Through Short Courses: A quantitative review of public health education in Sudan. Science Journal of Public Health. 2020; 8(4): 115-22.
Omar M, Shouna, G. Learning for Effective Teaching: Lessons from Academy of Health Sciences in Sudan. Journal of Health Sciences and Education. 2020; 4. 4(3): 1-10.
Shouna, G. O., Omar, M. A. & Abdelrahman, S. H.. Strengthening knowledge and evidence to combat antimcrobial resistance in Sudan, European Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2020; 7(8), pp.145-150.
Shouna, G. O., Omar, M. A. & Abdelrahman, S. H. Advancing awareness on antimicrobial resistance: A situation analysis in Sudan, European Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2020; 7(8), pp.112-120.
Shouna, G. O., Omar, M. A., Abdelrahman, S. A., et al. Infection Prevention and Control in Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Sudan, Public Health Open Access. 2020; 4(2).
Abdalla, FM, Omar MA, Badr EE Contribution of Sudanese medical diaspora to the healthcare delivery system in Sudan: exploring options and barriers. Human Resources for ealth 2016; 14(Suppl 1):28
Mugweni E, Omar M, Pearson S. Understanding barriers to safer sex practice in Zimbabwean marriages: implications for future HIV prevention interventions. Health Education Research. 2015;30(3):388-99.
Mugweni E.; Pearson S; Omar M. Concurrent sexual partnerships among married Zimbabweans – implications for HIV prevention. International Journal of Women’s Health. 2015; 7:1-14
Pearson S, Parr J, Ullah Z, Omar M. Supporting medical students to do international field research: a case study. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. 2014;51(3):277-91.
Padmanathan P, Singh M, Mannarath SC, Omar M, Raja S. A rapid appraisal of access to and utilisation of psychotropic medicines in Bihar, India. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2014;8(1):29.
Mugweni E, Pearson S ad Omar M (2012) Traditional gender roles, forced sex and HIV in Zimbabwean marriages, Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. 2012; 14(5): 577–590
Mirzoev TN, Omar MA, Green AT, Bird PK, Lund C, Ofori-Atta A, et al. Research-policy partnerships - experiences of the Mental Health and Poverty Project in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Health Research Policy and Systems. 2012;10(1):30.
Abdalla FM, Omar MA. The role of the health system in the prevention of hearing loss among children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sudan J Paediatr. 2011;11(1):8-19.
Bird P, Omar M, Doku V, Lund C, Nsereko JR, Mwanza J. Increasing the priority of mental health in Africa: findings from qualitative research in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Health Policy Plan. 2011;26(5):357-65.
Omar MA, Green AT, Bird PK, Mirzoev T, Flisher AJ, Kigozi F, et al. Mental health policy process: A comparative study of Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2010;4.
Omar M, Gerein N, Tarin E, Butcher C, Pearson S, Heidari G. Training evaluation: a case study of training Iranian health managers. Human Resources for Health. 2009;7(1):20
Omar M and Putoto G. Lifelong learning on global health. Health and Development. 2009; Special Issue, pp 23-28
Tarin E, Green A, Omar M, Shaw J. Policy process for health reforms: a case study of Punjab Province (Pakistan) International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2009; 24: 306-325
Draper CE, Lund C, Kleintjes S, Funk M, Omar M, Flisher AJ, et al. Mental health policy in South Africa: development process and content. Health policy and planning. 2009;24(5):342-56.
Flisher AJ, Lund C, Funk M, Banda M, Bhana A, Doku V, et al. Mental Health Policy Development and Implementation in Four African Countries. Journal of Health Psychology. 2007;12(3):505-16.
Omar M. Comprehensive training needs assessment in Sudan Sudanese Journal of Public Health. 2008; 3(1): 35-38.
Ashjaei K, Sheik M, Omar M, Tarin E, Nikniaz A. Health sector reform and capacity development: An Iranian experience of training centre on health management Research Journal of Biological Sciences. 2008; 3(2): 372-377.
Omar M, Tarin E, Ashjaei K, Mirzoev T, Sheikh M (2007) In-country capacity development of a training institute: an Iranian experience Journal of Health Organization and Management. 2007; 21(6): 519-532.
Flisher A, Lund C, Funk M, Banda M, Doku V, Drew N, Kigozi F, Knapp M, Omar M, Green A (2007) Mental Health Policy Development and Implementation in Four African Countries Journal of Health Psychology. 2007; 12(3): 505-516
Green A, Collins C, Stefanini A, Ferrinho P, Chapman G, Hagos B, et al. The role of strategic health planning processes in the development of health care reform policies: a comparative study of Eritrea, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Int J Health Plann Manage. 2007;22(2):113-31.
Collins C, Omar M, Adhikari D, Dhakal R, Emmel N, Dhakal MR, et al. Health system decentralisation in Nepal: identifying the issues. J Health Organ Manag. 2007;21(6):535-45.
Omar M and Mohamed K. HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation in the Somali nomads of eastern Ethiopia: a discussion paper. World Hospitals and Health Services. 2006; 24(3): 27-31.
Omar M. Filling the assessment gap. Journal of Health Organization and Management. 2006;20(1):74-80.
Newell JN; Collins CD; Omar MA; Baral SC; Pande SB (2005) Decentralisation and TB Control in Nepal: Understanding the views of TB control staff. Health Policy 2005; 73: 212-227.
Omar MA. Health sector decentralisation: Unique or universal. World Hospitals and Health Services. 2002; 38(2): 24-30
Collins CD, Omar MA and Tarin EU. Decentralisation, Health Care And Policy Process In The Punjab, Pakistan in the 1990s. International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2002; 17: 123-146
Collins CD, Omar M, Hurst K. Staff transfer and management in the government health sector in Balochistan, Pakistan: problems and context. Public Administration and Development. 2000; 20(3):207-20.
Omar M. Nomads of Africa: Why are they left behind? LUCAS African Studies Bulletin. 2000; No 63
Omar M. Prevention of female genital mutilation among immigrant population in Europe. LUCAS African Studies Bulletin. 2000; No 63
Omar MA, Omar MM. Health for All by the Year 2000: What about the nomads? Development in Practice. 1999; 9(3):310-5.
Tareen EU, Omar M. Empowerment at village level through a workshop method, Development in Practice. 1998; 8(2): 221-225
Tareen EU, Omar MA. Community entry – an essential component of participation, Health Manpower Management. 1997; 23(3): 97-99
Omar M, Tekeste A. Shaping the health of the nation: development of human resources in Eritrea. Health Manpower Management. 1997;23(6):212-5.
Materia E, Imoko J, Berhe G, Dawuda C, Pinto A, Babille M, Omar MA, Guerra R. How rapid surveys can support the health information system at district level in developing countries: an experience from Uganda, East African Medical Journal. January 1995:15-19
Ausse J, Omar MA, Mamede S, Mecedo MCM, Pinto A, Sales Compos J. Developing an information system to support the pursuit of decentralisation: the perspective of Ceara State in Brazil, Journal of Management in Medicine. 1995; 9(4): 36-44
Omar MA, Komakech W, Hagi Hassan MA, Chohan HS. Costs, resource utilisation and financing of public and private hospitals: a case study in Uganda, East African Medical Journal. September 1995: 591-598
Omar MA. Nomads in the Horn of Africa, World Health. 1995; (6): 25.
Materia E, Omar MA, Guerra R and Ahmed AM. Making a start with district health libraries, World Health Forum. 1994; (5): 89-92
Omar MA, Charimari L, Pinto A. The District Health Information System and its potential in the management of district and rural hospitals, World Hospitals. 1994; 30(3): 15-20
Omar MA, Guerra R, Ahmed AM, Wood L. Distance education for training PHC managers: an enquiry on to its feasibility, Journal on Media and Technology for Human Resource Development. 1993; October – December: 15-24
Omar MA, Pariyo GW, Bufardeci GM, and Guerra R. A need for community education, popular participation and intersectoral action to develop and sustain water and sanitation programmes, Annali di Igiene Medicina Preventiva e di Comunita’. 1993; 5(3): 161-174
Omar MA, Sufi QM, and Gamba-Osiga A. Community perception and role in prevention of Guinea Worm disease, Aannali di Igiene Medicina Preventiva e di Comunita’. 1993; 5(5): 305-312
Omar MA, Gamba-Osiga A, Sufi QM (1993) A survey of human dranculiasis in Kitgum District, Uganda, Aannali di Igiene Medicina Preventiva e di Comunita’. 1993;, 5(5): 313-320
Omar MA, Noor MA, Guerra R. Somali nomads: an overview and perspective in their health care, La Medicina Tropicale. 1993; 9(1): 13-20
Guerra R, Omar MA, Pinto A. What to look at when planning health services for nomads? La Medicina Tropicale. 1993; 9(1): 21-24
Pinto A, Omar MA, Guerra R. Pastoralism, public health and veterinary intervention: A comprehensive solution, La Medicina TropicaleI 1993; 9(1): 13-20
Noor MA, Omar MA. Integrazione del servizio sanitario umano ed animale: esperienza somala, La Medicina Tropicale. 1993; 9(1): 13-20
Omar MA (1992) Healthcare for nomads too, please. World Health Forum. 1992; 13: 307-310
Ahmed AM, Omar MA, Wood L. Training PHC Managers at a Distance: A preliminary enquiry, La Medicine Tropicale. 1991; 7 (1-4), Gen-Dic, pp 7-12
Omar MA, Guerra R. Lessons learned from the evaluation of Joint WHO/UNICEF Nutrition Support Programme (JNSP), La Medicine Tropicale. 1990; 6 (1-4), Gen-Dic, pp 9-14
Detogni C, Omar MA, Gavyole ASA, Togentto. Management of drug shortages at district hospitals: a Tanzanian experience, La Medicine Tropicale. 1990; 6 (1-4), Gen-Dic, pp 28-31
Omar MA. Development of Mental Health Services in Somalia’, NIMHANS Journal. 1986; 2, published by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, July 1986
Omar MA. Towards Total Patient Care’, Social Science and Medicine. 1985; 20(4): 437-8, Pergamon Press, London
Omar M A (1984) ‘New Approach in Somali Mental Hospitals’, World Health Forum. 1984; 4 (3), Geneva.
Research groups and institutes
- Leeds Institute of Health Sciences