Mervat Alhaffar

MSc BScPharm

Research Assistant

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

I am a pharmacist who graduated from Damascus University/Syria. I have 8 years of experience as a healthcare provider in Syria before and during the conflict. My various work experience (in community pharmacy, medical insurance systems and pharmaceutical marketing) allowed me to look at the Syrian health system from different angles.
I have been awarded an MSc in Public Health for Development from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2019.

An Alumna of both Chevening & LSHTM Scholarships.



Department of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology


After graduation from LSHTM, I started working in academic research as I got involved in different projects at the school; 

1- Governance & adaptation of health system in Syria.

2- Estimation of crisis-attributable mortality in Yemen. 

3- Gender issues & gender-based violence in conflict-affected countries.


Research Area
Health systems
Arab World
Middle East & North Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

'We need someone to deliver our voices': reflections from conducting remote qualitative research in Syria.
Douedari Y; Alhaffar M; Duclos D; Al-Twaish M; Jabbour S; Howard N
Conflict and health
Excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic: a geospatial and statistical analysis in Aden governorate, Yemen.
Koum Besson ES; Norris A; Bin Ghouth AS; Freemantle T; Alhaffar M; Vazquez Y; Reeve C; Curran PJ; Checchi F
BMJ global health
Whose voices should shape global health education? Curriculum codesign and codelivery by people with direct expertise and lived experience
Sbaiti M; Streule MJ; Alhaffar M; Pilkington V; Leis M; Budhathoki SS; Mkhallalati H; Omar M; Liu L; Golestaneh AK
BMJ global health
Leveraging community mortality indicators to infer COVID-19 mortality and transmission dynamics in Damascus, Syria.
Watson OJ; Alhaffar M; Mehchy Z; Whittaker C; Akil Z; Brazeau NF; Cuomo-Dannenburg G; Hamlet A; Thompson HA; Baguelin M
Nature communications
Under-reporting of deaths limits our understanding of true burden of covid-19.
Whittaker C; Walker PGT; Alhaffar M; Hamlet A; Djaafara BA; Ghani A; Ferguson N; Dahab M; Checchi F; Watson OJ
BMJ (Clinical research ed.)
\"Ten years of war! You expect people to fear a 'germ'?\": A qualitative study of initial perceptions and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic among displaced communities in opposition-controlled northwest Syria
Douedari Y; Alhaffar M; Al-Twaish M; Mkhallalati H; Alwany R; Ibrahim NBM; Zaseela A; Horanieh N; Abbara A; Howard N
Journal of migration and health
Lessons from humanitarian clusters to strengthen health system responses to mass displacement in low and middle-income countries: A scoping review.
Durrance-Bagale A; Salman OM; Omar M; Alhaffar M; Ferdaus M; Newaz S; Krishnan S; Howard N
Journal of Migration and Health
See more Publications