Dr Aula Abbara is a consultant in Infectious Diseases/ General Internal Medicine at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, London and an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College. She teaches and supervises students on the Global Health BSc course at Imperial College and the TMIH at LSHTM.
She has volunteered in different humanitarian and refugee settings including direct clinical work, teaching healthcare workers and building capacity. Since 2012, this has been predominantly with Syrian non-governmental organisations. Between 2016 and 2018, she led a project for SAMS Hellas which provided over 30,000 primary healthcare consultations for refugees in Greece and received a Women in Global Health Award at the World Health Assembly for this. Other humanitarian work includes refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria (pre-conflict), the Rohingya crisis and in Sierra Leone with MDM for the ebola response in 2015 (for which she received an Ebola Medal of Service.)
She co-chairs the Syria Public Health Network a group which brings together academics, NGOs, policy makers and international organisations to highlight and influence policies relevant to the public health of Syrians. She chairs Health Professionals for Global Health and has been a collaborator on the Lancet Commission on Syria.
She has consulted for a number of international organisations; recent examples include: for UN ESCWA for the NAFS program on the future of Syria's health system (2020;) for Lebanon Support on the 'Right to Health' in Lebanon and in Jordan (2020;) for Primary Care International for a project with WHO EURO to provide training and support around COVID-19 for doctors in northwest Syria (2020.) She was on the expert advisory group for WHO Global Code of Practice on the Ethical Recruitment of Healthworker Migration (2020) and is on the Advisory Group for WHO on the development of Global Competency Standards for health workers on Refugee and Migrant health (2021.)
Her research interests include attacks on healthcare, AMR in conflict, refugee healthcare workers and, more broadly relating to global and humanitarian health. Current research projects include an MRC grant on Health Systems Research on health system governance in Syria, an R2HC grant on the Public Health impact of Attacks on Healthcare and a collaboration on AMR in conflict.
In February 2020, she received an Emerging Alumni Leaders Award from Imperial College, London.
et al., 2024, Compounding challenges for Syrian refugees in Türkiye in the wake of the earthquake., Lancet Glob Health
et al., 2023, Multidrug-resistant pathogens contaminate river water used in irrigation in disenfranchised communities., J Glob Antimicrob Resist, Vol:36, Pages:175-180
et al., 2023, Attacks on health are war crimes and a public health catastrophe., Lancet, Vol:402
et al., 2023, Communicable diseases in northwest Syria in the context of protracted armed conflict and earthquakes, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:23, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:E477-E481
et al., 2023, "Actually, the psychological wounds are more difficult than physical injuries:" a qualitative analysis of the impacts of attacks on health on the personal and professional lives of health workers in the Syrian conflict, Conflict and Health, Vol:17, ISSN:1752-1505