The DWW team is made up of a diverse range of people working hard to serve communities in need around the world. Our team ranges from the board of trustees, executive team, overseas staff, volunteers and supporters.
Monowara is the Chief Executive of Doctors Worldwide. Prior to joining Doctors Worldwide, Monowara held numerous senior executive roles leading not-for-profit organisations within the humanitarian sector including development education, campaigning and advocacy, and a consortium of large and medium iNGOs. She has produced a variety of award-winning resources and training courses on development and change, and has been working in the NGO sector for more than 17 years. Monowara has experience in leading and designing development projects and advocated long-term resilience responses in disaster management, localisation and healthcare with multilateral stakeholders and governments around the world.
Monowara is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach specialising in performance and personal development and organisational effectiveness, and she has designed and delivered coaching seminars and 1-2-1s to more than 10,000 adults to date. She has a degree in Microbiology from the University of Nottingham.
Inspired by faith and humanity, the principles that drive me and which I dedicate my life to, are justice, equality and compassion. In a time where hearts continue to be divided and resources amassed by a few, now more than ever do we all have a responsibility to play our part in ensuring a just and fair world for everyone. Doctors Worldwide is a platform to do just that; to be part of a change or movement towards a world that is equal in all respects – health, wealth, and opportunities. I am humbled and honoured to be at the helm of an organisation that is driven by integrity, excellence and collaboration; values which are at the foundation of a flourishing world that unites hearts, ensures equality, and presents the very best of perfected human character.
One of the reasons why I love working at Doctors Worldwide is because I have an opportunity to contribute towards making the world a better place. The other reason is the inspiring people that surround me at Doctors Worldwide – they are all genuine individuals who are incredibly kind, and have a shared solidarity in helping people with humbleness and service. The diversity in the organisation is also inspiring – people from all walks of life working together representing a global community. It is a responsibility and privilege to be part of an organisation like Doctors Worldwide, and every day is a reminder that we all have a duty to work towards a fair and just world for everyone.
Bushera is a GP principal and trainer in Salford. She has a keen interest in teaching and is an experienced undergraduate tutor. She is an examiner for the University of Manchester Medical School. As part of her work with DWW she has worked in Kenya and is the newly appointed Chair from 2020.
Saddaf is a G.P. in Oldham. He was the first Chair of Doctors Worldwide and was part of the original group that first formulated the concepts and the formation of the charity. As part of his work with the charity he has traveled to Congo, Bosnia, Pakistan and South Africa. He remains on the Board of Trustees, and is the current Treasurer. A Former Chair of Mediconcern, he also worked with the Federation of Human Rights Lawyers.
My 19 year journey with Doctors Worldwide seems inextricably linked to my own life! At the time, I had no experience in medical relief work, but a strong sense that this was one of the initial main drivers for becoming a doctor. The phone call came out of the blue. Would I be interested in joining a group of medics looking to form a new medical relief organisation that had a global vision. I will be honest and say I went to that first meeting very sceptical; what do we need another charity for? We seemed to be falling over them as it is. What was wrong with the current big charities?
Well, it was an intense weekend, full of discussion, friendly arguments and shared experiences. But what stood out for me was the sincerity in the room, the energy, the vibrancy, and the vision to keep the focus on local communities and not lose that grass roots connection. That, and the desire to create an organisation modelled around understanding the cultural, ethnic and religious nuances of delivering effective relief work, and crucially, an organisation that could serve as a better platform for the many of us who wish to volunteer our time and medical experience but who couldn’t always give months in one block.
All of these years later, the reason why I am still involved is because those initial themes are as relevant now as ever. The Doctors Worldwide I have seen grow, still beats to that same focus of collaboration, volunteerism and integrity. Don’t get me wrong, being a Trustee has its stresses and mundanity (balder and greyer as proof), but being involved with Doctors Worldwide has also allowed me to meet some inspirational people working in the most difficult conditions, and to experience and travel places that have both broadened and tempered my horizons. It has also been home, a place to meet, work and interact with like-minded professionals willing to make time and sacrifices to play our part in improving health care for those in need.
Ibrar has been a trustee at Doctors Worldwide since 2007 and was chairman from 2010-2020. He has been actively involved in the third sector since 2005 and has sat on the board of several national and international charities, some of which he continues to do to this day. He has travelled to countries in sub Saharan Africa and South-East Asia to contribute to both developmental and emergency programmes, alongside his work as a Consultant Paediatric Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon with a specialist interest in Paediatric Major Trauma and Limb Reconstruction. Ibrar is an alumnus of an NHS Clinical Leadership Fellow scheme and has worked on several workstreams related to health leadership and service delivery. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer at the UAEs first and only designated children’s hospital.
My interest in global health began whilst I was still a medical student in London in the late 1990’s. At that time I was fortunate to meet a group of like minded colleagues whose commitment and sincerity to doing good to benefit others was a key driver and example for me, and it was through their introduction that I later became involved with DWW. Initially my focus was around teaching and training myself and colleagues, so we would be ready to support projects overseas. This manifested through the growth of Relief Medical Education (RME) which was really a peer support network, based mainly in London, and which later moved into the Midlands as I travelled for surgical training. However, my turning point arrived at the end of 2005 when I volunteered with DWW as part of the medical response team to the Pakistan earthquake, which affected Azad Kashmir and Northern Pakistan. For the first time I saw first hand the inequalities in healthcare, which before I had taken for granted living in the UK. I also was able to truly realise that access to good quality healthcare was really a privilege for so many of us, when in fact it should be a basic human right for every single person on this planet.
On my return I was more driven than ever to try and address this imbalance that existed in so many communities, and somehow I ended up being invited onto the board of DWW! At that time I had no experience of sitting on any kind of board, and I remember after the first couple of meetings thinking this might not be right for me. What made me stay? The opportunity to work with some of the most decent, honest and caring people I have ever come across, trying to address challenging issues around access to and provision of good quality healthcare to communities who benefit immensely. To this day, I remain part of DWW because I still see those values; within our board, amongst our staff and in our volunteers, colleagues and partners across the globe. Added to this, the pragmatic and honest approach we take at DWW is something which I feel is quite unique within the sector. Our focus has always been on the greatest good for the greatest number, and sometimes this has meant our interventions although not big, have left a large and lasting impact.
Dr Najeeb Rahman studied, trained and worked in the UK, obtaining his primary medical degree from the University of Leeds. He holds a Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance as well as a Masters in Public Health, and has a special interest in global emergency medicine and humanitarian assistance. He currently works as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine in Leeds, and has experience in both disaster response as well as health development programs in more than 10 countries spanning more than 20 years in locations ranging from Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East as well as South Asia. In recognition of this work, he was awarded the William Rutherford International Award in 2017 by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, and is an inaugural member of the College’s Global Emergency Medicine Committee as well as Emergency Medicine and Public Health Special Interest Group.
Identity and purpose are inextricably linked in my journey. Growing up in a country I didn’t and wasn’t allowed to belong to, along with a large number of expatriate children, meant that I had an international lens to life as well as an appreciation of the impact of the presence or lack of fairness and equity in developing personal opportunities.
In 1999, I ended up volunteering during my medical elective in post-war Kosovo. It was a life-changing experience for me, in that I was working with a range of international and local healthcare workers to address the needs of communities. What was clear was the fragmented way in which aid and resources were deployed, as well as the lack of coordination, localisation, cultural awareness and accountability in the response. Another critical reflection was how important these issues were in achieving meaningful impact for communities, and that it didn’t have to cost much to strive for these, while recognising that this was about changing the culture of how we work and volunteer our time, effort and skill. In the years following, and through my journey in the humanitarian health and development sector, I have continued to try and address these issues in myself and the work that I do, and have often anchored to the 103rd Quranic Chapter of Surah Al-‘Asr as a source of inspiration. ‘By Time. Indeed, mankind is in loss. Except for those who have believed and do righteous deeds, and enjoined one another to truth, and enjoined one another to patient perseverance.’
Shazaad is a consultant virologist in Manchester. He has a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene as well as a Masters in Tropical Medicine and International Health, both from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His work included tracking Ebola across East Africa with the WHO. Shazaad’s first mission for Doctors Worldwide was to Pakistan during the 2010 floods and he has recently visited one of their development projects in Malawi.
Georgia Venner is currently one of our Project Managers overseeing our activities in Bangladesh, Greece, Pakistan, and the Syria/Turkey border. She holds a Master in Public health (MPH) from the University of Alberta, Canada and a Certificate in Humanitarian Action from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has past experience in humanitarian research ethics focusing on the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic, and has served previous public health roles in East Africa and the Caribbean. Her passions consist of refugee health, healthcare training, and health systems strengthening.
Since graduating and obtaining a Master in Public Health specialising in Global Health, I have predominantly worked overseas, applying my knowledge and skills to address the needs of vulnerable populations. I strived for my interest and experiences to lead me into the area of humanitarian aid and innovation, which I found by joining Doctors Worldwide. I have witnessed how poverty, inadequate policy, conflict, and injustice have impacted people’s right to health, leading to preventable morbidity and mortality. Through my experiences with Doctors Worldwide, I have applied, and become much more aware of effective strategies and interventions to strengthen the local response in innovative ways challenging the norms of the humanitarian sector. I continue to be inspired by the people and organisations we work with to better the health of communities globally.
Fatimah is currently one of our Project Managers overseeing our global COVID-19 emergency response activities including SARI ward support, and our projects in Rwanda and Malawi. Fatimah has a background in public health and social development research, obtaining her Masters in Public Health from the University of Leeds. She has supported humanitarian organisations responding to the health needs of internally displaced communities (IDPs) in Sub-saharan Africa, and has health systems strengthening programme and evaluation experience within rural communities in Nigeria. She has particular interest in infectious disease prevention within migrant communities.
I believe that every individual, no matter where they are, has a right to good health and access to health services. Striving to better the condition of others is an aspect of my work that I feel deeply passionate about. What I really love about Doctors Worldwide is the focus on supporting local community groups to help deliver their many projects. These groups know their communities really well and this puts them in the best position to advise us on important cultural elements to be aware of when delivering projects. Often international organisations unintentionally overlook these factors but DWW projects show a genuine appreciation for the cultural context. This is reflected throughout each programme’s strategy and activities. We are proactive in creating genuine, open and honest partnerships with local groups and it is great to see a mutual desire to address new challenges and continually improve existing services. We have been successful in delivering high impact projects in many countries around the world, improving local health outcomes.
Dr Mir Ahmad is an Emergency Medicine Consultant and a Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. He has led one of the UK’s busiest acute care NHS trusts in East London as its Trauma Director before returning to Bangladesh. He is currently completing his Master’s in Public Health in Bangladesh’s leading private university to gain a better understanding of the country’s health care system in an attempt to improve and lead the delivery of emergency care in Bangladesh. In addition to his work with Doctors Worldwide, he is developing the first urgent care centre in Dhaka city.
I have had the privilege of living half of my personal life and my career in both the ‘developing’ East and the ‘developed’ West. Having chosen my family wisely, I was encouraged to learn from both the good and bad in these two differing societies. Following the family tradition, I entered the field of medicine, completing my undergraduate in Bangladesh, knowing well in advance that this would be where I wanted my expertise to count. I then proceeded back to the UK where I underwent intensive training in Emergency Medicine, an essential facet of primary care that was, and unfortunately still is, non-existent in Bangladesh. After completing my post-graduation and gaining valuable experience as both a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Director for Trauma, I returned to Bangladesh in 2017 with my young family and have since then been heavily involved with the Bangladesh Society of Emergency Medicine in setting up Emergency Care in the country.
It was at this time, as the world knows, that atrocities in Myanmar’s Rakhine state led to a new wave of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to seek refuge in Bangladesh. It was a chance encounter at the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s SAARC workshop and a shared vision with a Doctors Worldwide Trustee that led to my involvement with the organisation. Now two years on and leading on two projects in Bangladesh, Doctors Worldwide has allowed me to pursue my agenda of improving Emergency Care in the country and at the same time deliver essential health care to a deprived and persecuted group of people that the world has widely ignored.
Imogen joined Doctors Worldwide in November 2018 as an Administrator and PA and has now also taken on the role of Project Support Officer for the DICE project. She is currently completing an MSc in International Development at the University of Manchester and holds a BA Hons in Philosophy from Queen’s University Belfast. Prior to working at Doctors Worldwide she has undertaken voluntary roles in research, project development and campaigns within the development sector, including a research and programme internship in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is also a long-time supporter of Oxfam and spends most summers fundraising through volunteering in the Oxfam shops at festivals.
What drew me to Doctors Worldwide is the focus on a rights-based approach, striving to ensure communities have access to healthcare as a human right. Through my time at Doctors Worldwide I have seen how effective collaboration, working with partner organisations to incorporate local knowledge and skills, ensures the projects are impactful and sustainable. I enjoy being part of a diverse team who all feel passionate about working towards making quality healthcare a reality for communities affected by poverty, conflict and natural disasters.
Sayeed Ahmed has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Engineering & is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Disaster Management at Dhaka University. He believes his education & work experience will enhance his skills & confidence to work better especially in humanitarian work. Sayeed’s journey with Doctors Worldwide started in February 2018. During that period, he went for a short visit to Cox’s Bazar with some DWW volunteers who were planning an education project to help the medical team providing health care to the Rohingya and Host community.
To be honest, before my visit in 2018, I had no idea what a refugee camp looked like, who lived there, or what the humanitarian agencies did for the displaced communities. This visit was a truly eye-opening experience for me. I saw the value of humanitarian work and how DWW worked with other agencies to improve things for all. This then became the main reason for my involvement with DWW.
Over the years, I must say I learned a lot & still learn from my work with DWW. In the meantime, DWW has made a huge impact to achieve its goals of training doctors who had little experience of working in refugee camps. To date, Doctors Worldwide has trained 99 doctors in a three-month course called Post Graduate Fellowship (PGF) in Migrant and Refugee Health, & our trainees believe this type of training is essential & important for them to boost up their confidence in the workplace.
Currently, I am involved in Doctors Worldwide Improving Care in Health Emergencies Program (DICE), which is underway with the partnership of UN-IOM. I hope this will bring another milestone for emergency care in Bangladesh and especially in refugee and migrant communities. The DWW team is like a family to me. Every team member & volunteer is friendly and considerate with diverse backgrounds. The team is highly experienced in humanitarian work. These inspiring people help & motivate us to gather knowledge, experience & skills that are required to work in challenging conditions & serve communities in need. I plan to use this to continue to serve people in Bangladesh and around the world.
Hawwa is a recent BA History graduate from the University of Manchester. She has previously completed a Student Communications & Marketing internship with the central UoM department, and held various Communications Officer roles for clubs and societies whilst still at university. She is also a freelance artist and photographer.
Amira is a BA Architecture graduate from Liverpool John Moores University. She has previously completed an internship with Hafeez Consultants in Egypt as an Architectural Assistant and also a RIBA Mentoring Programme. She has a particular interest in graphic design and photography.
Yahya is a current BSc Computer Science student at the University of Newcastle. He has become one of the most notable developers on Roblox, and has over 130 million combined plays on all his games across PC, iOS, Android and XBOX. His most recent work includes the development of a Coronavirus information and tracking site specifically for university students in the UK.