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A female Y-PEER volunteer coaching a group of schoolgirls. Credit: Y-PEER Sudan

Sudan Research Group

The Sudan Research Group is a community-led movement for generating actionable evidence to tackle public health challenges in Sudan.

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The Sudan Research Group brings together academics, researchers, community volunteers, civil society members, humanitarian workers and public health professionals from across the globe, working together to understand the impact of the compound crises and sustainably support the health response in Sudan through generating local, implementable evidence and data.  

Who we are
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Profiles List
Maysoon Dahab

Maysoon Dahab

Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Maysoon is an infectious disease epidemiologist and the co-director of the research group. Over the past 19 years she has focused primarily on conducting operational health research programmes in low-income countries especially in crises affected settings. She has worked with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Malawi, Save the Children USA in Ethiopia, The Aurum Institute for Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in South Africa, as well as the Sudan Federal Ministry of Health, and consults for various other organizations, primarily supporting refugee health operational research with UNCHR across the Middle East, East Africa and Asia.

Nada Abdelmagid

Nada Abdelmagid

Assistant Professor in Humanitarian Health Practice at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Nada is a medical doctor and epidemiologist with extensive experience in public health programming in humanitarian settings. She filled a variety of technical advisory and programmatic roles, supporting design, delivery and monitoring of health programmes in Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Turkey among other crises.

Nada holds a Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and is a member of the Global Health Cluster’s Public Health Information Services Task Team. She is currently undertaking her PhD at LSHTM.

Nada is a founding member of the Sudan Research Group.

Rahaf Abu Koura

Rahaf Abu Koura

Research fellow, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Department, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Rahaf is a pharmacist and a public health researcher. Over the past 9 years, she has supported the implementation and development of various programmes and research studies focusing on crisis-affected populations and humanitarian settings in Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria, and the UK. She has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the British Red Cross (BRC), Our Hearts with You Foundation (OHWY), King’s College London (KCL) and different community-led organisations, focusing on nutrition in emergencies, mental health, antibiotic resistance, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), education and COVID-19. She holds an MPH from the University of Leeds with the prestigious Chevening Scholarship Award from the UK Government. Currently, Rahaf is completing her PhD focusing on co-production of research in humanitarian settings.

Abd Elhameed Ahmed

Abd Elhameed Ahmed

National Coordinator for the COVID-19 Research and Advocacy project in Sudan

Abd Elhameed is a researcher and youth engagement expert. He demonstrated commitment as the National Coordinator for Research and Advocacy for the COVID-19 Research and Advocacy Project in Sudan. Here, Abd Elhameed managed diverse studies with Sudan COVID-19 Research Group, spanning across diverse communities. Abd Elhameed has been a member of Y-PEER Sudan since 2016 peer educator and a trainer since 2018. He is the former president of the Youth Mechanism for Children Protection in North Kordofan which works in the areas of Reproductive Health, Gender Based Violence, FGM, and Child Marriage and Peacebuilding. Currently, he is serving as the State Coordinator for the Carter Center's Peace Program in North Kordofan, Sudan, since September 2022. In this pivotal role, he leads the Youth Citizen Observation Network (YCON) project, overseeing state-level activities, coordinating with partners, and crafting detailed work plans. Their proficiency extends to submitting comprehensive reports to the Carter Center, showcasing strong organizational and leadership skills.  With a foundation in academia, Abd Elhameed served as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the University of Kordofan from October 2016 until October 2017. where he got his MSc in Parasitology (Zoology) in 2021. In this role, he was guiding students, conducting practical lectures, and consistently showcasing leadership. Driven by a passion for research, advocacy, and youth empowerment, Abd Elhameed brings a wealth of experience and a demonstrated commitment to positive societal impact.

Aljaile Ahmed

Aljaile Ahmed

Co-founder of the Y-PEER Sudan network

Aljaili is a regional master trainer/instructional designer for Y-PEER in the Middle East and North Africa and is currently a MSc candidate in Sustainable Development at SOAS, University of London. He has extensive expertise in developing and implementing youth programs in several countries in the region, including how to incorporate young people’s inputs into policy and programming processes.

Israa Zain Alabdeen

Israa Zain Alabdeen

Former National Coordinator of the Y-PEER Sudan Network, current a member of Y-PEER Sudan Alumni Board

Israa is an MSc graduate from the Development and Research Studies Institute at the University of Khartoum. Throughout her experience, she has supported the implementation of different programs focused on women's economic empowerment, BMI, protection and gender equality. With IFAD, Sudanese development call organisation NIDAA. She’s an advocate for youth participation and youth development and currently supports Y-PEER engagement and capacity-building programs in the area of research.

Nazik Nurelhuda

Nazik Nurelhuda

Associate Professor at the University of Khartoum

Nazik is a public health specialist, with over 10 years of working experience in public health practice and research in higher education, government sector and the World Health Organization. She holds a PhD in Community Dentistry from the University of Bergen (Norway), is a member of the Faculty of Public Health (Royal College of Physicians, UK) and Fellow of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research Institute (USA). Nazik was able to branch out in her career from dental public health to the promotion and protection of general human health.

Reem Gaafar

Reem Gaafar

Communications consultant and non-resident Research Fellow at Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government

Reem has almost 15 years of experience across several countries as an ER clinician, public health policy researcher, lecturer, writer and filmmaker. She obtained her MPH from University of Liverpool and has consulted for several entities including the WHO country office in Khartoum, the Transitional Sudanese Government and Federal Ministry of Health, GHD/EMPHNET and different health communication campaigns in the MENA region.

Her experience includes knowledge translation in written and audiovisual form to promote health and citizen empowerment, and her research interests include social determinants of health, social justice, and advancing the role of women in political change. She writes for several platforms, has over 150 published blogs, articles and book contributions, has directed and researched for several documentary films and videos, and was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Miles Moreland Foundation Scholarship awarded to published African writers.

Salma A. E. Ahmed

Salma A. E. Ahmed

PhD researcher / University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Salma is a public health professional and researcher from a medical background based in Sudan. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Health at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Salma holds a Master's degree in Public and Tropical Health, as well as an MPhil in International Community Health from the University of Oslo, Norway. Salma has more than 10 years of diverse research experience working on issues related to maternal and women health, HIV prevention, implementation of health projects and community-based interventions, policy making, and research with Sudan Federal Ministry of Health, national organizations, research institutions, and several UN agencies and NGOs. She is especially interested in qualitative research.

Omamah Abbas

Omamah Abbas

Sudan Research Group Coordinator

A public health researcher with over five years of experience. My expertise lies in research, advocacy, and program management, particularly among crisis-affected populations and community health improvement. Currently, I’m a Research Coordinator for the Sudan Research Group and a Master’s student in Epidemiology at the University of Khartoum. I’ve worked with the Ministry of Health, World Food Programme, the Combating Violence Against Women Unit, and Albalsam Hospital. Beyond my professional commitments, I’m an active volunteer, involved in various initiatives such as the Sudan Youth Peer Education Network, Go Green Sudan, the Sudanese Childhood Diabetes Association, and the Sudan Youth Parliament for Water.

Bothaina Eltigani

Bothaina Eltigani

DPhil Student and Research assistant / Reuben college, University of Oxford

Bothaina is a medical doctor by training from Khartoum, Sudan. Through her medical practice in rural, urban and voluntary work, she gained a keen interest of public health that motivated her to apply for MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine. This MSc sparked further interest in social sciences and ignited her deep rooted passion for gender equality and health equity. Where she decided to apply for a DPhil in Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation, looking into the relationship between climate change and inter-personal violence against adolescent girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also working as a research assistant in the Accelerate Team along with inspiring and incredible researchers working towards the overarching goals of improving the lives of adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Muez Ali

Honorary Research Fellow / University College London

Muez Ali is an aspiring energy economist. He holds an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Sheffield and a Master's degree in sustainable energy technologies from the University of Southampton. Having realised (almost too late) that people are more interesting than objects, he decided to switch to the social sciences and pursue a PhD in energy economics. He is currently being transformed into an energy economist under the tutelage of Neil and Paolo.

Before starting a PhD at UCL Muez was a researcher at the National Energy Research Centre and the University of Khartoum in Sudan.

Mona Ibrahim

Mona Ibrahim

Policy Engagement Coordinator / University of Oxford

Dr Mona Ibrahim is the policy engagement coordinator in the UKRI GCRF Accelerate Hub, based in the University of Oxford. Her role is to support research uptake to build evidence-based policies and programs across sub-Saharan Africa. Holding a medical degree and an MSc, Mona’ background is in tropical medicine and international health. She has worked on a range of themes including health system strengthening, HIV and AIDS, pro-poor health equity, food security, and social safety nets. She is keen to continue supporting human rights-based approaches to improve population health wellbeing – especially in post-conflict and fragile settings. Mona also held advisory positions across major international actors including the WHO, UNDP, and WFP.

Current research
Research Sudan COVID-19 Research Group 2 columns
Research Sudan COVID-19 Research Group 2 columns left paragraph

Conflict-Attributable Population Mortality in Sudan (CAM-Sudan): A Collaborative Research for Sudan


The impact of the Sudan war since April 15, 2023 on the lives and livelihoods of Sudanese people is yet unmeasured. With the collapse of government services, including vital registration functions, there is currently no way to generate precise estimates of mortality. The lack of accurate conflict impact data, including on mortality, hampers advocacy efforts towards stopping the war, response efforts towards addressing health needs, and appropriate resource allocation decisions.

The LSHTM’s SRG is currently conducting a study to assess crises-attributable mortality in the country.  This is in collaboration with key national civil society organisations and community initiatives.


We are estimating conflict-attributable mortality in Sudan using a statistical method we previously deployed to estimate crises-attributable mortality in Yemen, Tigray and pre-war Sudan. We are gathering lists of deaths from three pathways

  1. An online survey with members of public networks connected on public social media platforms
  2. An online survey with members of private social and professional networks
  3. Mining of publicly available death notifications sourced from Sudanese civil society organizations and public social media platforms

The three lists will be compared using capture-recapture methodology. This is to  estimate the total number of deaths due to the conflict as well as the proportion of these that constitute ‘excess’ or ‘conflict-attributable’ deaths.


This study is implemented in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical approval for this study was provided by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Research Ethics Committee (number 29595).

Expected impact

The findings of this study will inform humanitarian interventions, governmental stakeholders, and civil society groups response aimed at mitigating the repercussions of the ongoing crisis in Sudan. By presenting evidence on the trends in mortality rates and shedding light on the conflict dynamics, the study aims to push towards evidence-based responses to the crisis.

Read more about the study.

Twitter: @cam_sudan 

Youtube: Cam-Sudan


To participate please fill out the survey.

Publications and media
Publications and media Sudan COVID-19 Research Group 2 columns
Publications and media Sudan COVID-19 Research Group 2 columns left paragraph

AbuKoura, R., Checchi, F., Abdalla, O. et al. Population mortality before and during the COVID-19 epidemic in two Sudanese settings: a key informant studyBMC Public Health 24, 701 (2024).

Ruth McCabe et al. Alternative epidemic indicators for COVID-19 in three settings with incomplete death registration systems. Sci.Adv.9,eadg7676(2023). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.adg7676

Ibrahim, M., Abdelmagid, N., AbuKoura, R. et al. Finding the fragments: community-based epidemic surveillance in Sudan. glob health res policy 8, 20 (2023).

Abdelmagid N, Southgate RJ, Alhaffar M, Ahmed M, Bani H, Mounier-Jack S, Dahab M, Checchi F, Sabahelzain MM, Nor B, Rao B, Singh NS. The Governance of Childhood Vaccination Services in Crisis Settings: A Scoping Review. Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Dec 14;11(12):1853. doi: 10.3390/vaccines11121853. PMID: 38140257; PMCID: PMC10747651.

Abdelmagid, N., Checchi, F. & Roberts, B. Public and health professional epidemic risk perceptions in countries that are highly vulnerable to epidemics: a systematic review. Infect Dis Poverty 11, 4 (2022).

Ratnayake, R., Abdelmagid, N., & Dooley, C. (2022). What we do know (and could know) about estimating population sizes of internally displaced people. Journal of Migration and Health, 6, 100120.

Whittaker C, Walker PGT, Alhaffar M, Hamlet A, Djaafara BA, Ghani A, Ferguson N, Dahab M, Checchi F, Watson OJ. Under-reporting of deaths limits our understanding of true burden of covid-19. BMJ. 2021 Oct 12;375:n2239. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n2239.  PMID: 34642172.

Osama T, Dahab M, Abdelgalil S. Militia-led attacks on health facilities and workers in Sudan. BMJ. 2022 Jan 28;376:o241. doi: 10.1136/bmj.o241. PMID: 35091432.

Jarrett, P., Fozdar, Y., Abdelmagid, N. et al. Healthcare governance during humanitarian responses: a survey of current practice among international humanitarian actors. Confl Health 15, 25 (2021).

Abdelmagid, N., Ahmed, S.A.E., Nurelhuda, N. et al. Acceptability and feasibility of strategies to shield the vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak: a qualitative study in six Sudanese communities. BMC Public Health 21, 1153 (2021).

Garry, S., Abdelmagid, N., Baxter, L. et al. Considerations for planning COVID-19 treatment services in humanitarian responses. Confl Health 14, 80 (2020).

Hensen B, Mackworth-Young CRS, Simwinga M, Abdelmagid N, Banda J, Mavodza C, Doyle AM, Bonell C, Weiss HA. Remote data collection for public health research in a COVID-19 era: ethical implications, challenges and opportunities. Health Policy Plan. 2021 Apr 21;36(3):360-368. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czaa158. PMID: 33881138; PMCID: PMC7928874.

Oliver J. Watson, Nada Abdelmagid, Aljaile Ahmed, Abd Elhameed Ahmed Abd Elhameed, Charles Whittaker, Nicholas Brazeau, Arran Hamlet, Patrick Walker, James Hay, Azra Ghani, Francesco Checchi, Maysoon Dahab. Report 39 - Characterising COVID-19 epidemic dynamics and mortality under-ascertainment in Khartoum, Sudan. Published 1 December 2020 on Imperial College London, MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis:

Dahab, M., Abdelmagid, N., Kodouda, A. et al. Deaths, injuries and detentions during civil demonstrations in Sudan: a secondary data analysis. Confl Health 13, 16 (2019).

Abdelmagid, N., Checchi, F., Garry, S. et al. Defining, measuring and interpreting the appropriateness of humanitarian assistance. Int J Humanitarian Action 4, 14 (2019).

Alhadi Khogali, Rahaf AbuKoura, Nada Abdelmagid et al. SWOT Analysis of Communicable Disease Surveillance in Sudan, 19 July 2023, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square []

Nada Abdelmagid, Salma A.E. Ahmed, Nazik Nurelhuda et al. Perceptions of COVID-19 risks and protective actions: a qualitative study in six Sudanese communities, 10 March 2023, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square []

Salma A.E. Ahmed, Rahaf AbuKoura, Abd Elhameed Ahmed et al. Changes in social mixing and attitudes and practices to precautionary measures in a maturing COVID-19 epidemic in six communities in Sudan: A Qualitative Study

COVID-19 control in low-income settings and displaced populations: what can realistically be done? Maysoon Dahab, Kevin van Zandvoort, Stefan Flasche, Abdihamid Warsame, Paul B. Spiegel, Ronald J Waldman, Francesco Checchi

Published 20 March 2020 on LSHTM News: 

Media appearances and mentions

Why health workers in Sudan have been leaving their posts amid COVID-19

Published in Forbes, June 25th, 2020

A continent where the dead are not counted

Published in The New York Times, February 26th, 2021

COVID-19 in Africa: Why is the death rate so low?

Published in Sky News, March 7th, 2021