Houssam al-Nahhas

Guest Author

Dr. Houssam al-Nahhas, MD, MPH, serves as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) researcher at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). In his role he documents attacks on health care, including unlawful detention of health care workers, and advocates for access to health. 

Before joining PHR, Dr. al-Nahhas played a crucial role in Syria’s health care crisis, enduring firsthand attacks on health care. Detained by the Syrian government for providing medical assistance, he also worked in medical facilities directly targeted by the government. As an emergency room physician in eastern Aleppo, he prepared for mass casualty events, including chemical threats. His role in documenting chemical weapon use in Syria, confirming the government’s actions in April 2014, helped to expose these deadly attacks. 

With over a decade of research in Syria, Dr. al-Nahhas has actively contributed to global health research, with publications in prestigious journals. Collaborating with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, he supported data for the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria and contributed to developing platform prototypes for a Burden of War analysis. 

Fluent in Arabic, English, and Turkish, Dr. al-Nahhas began his medical studies at Aleppo University in 2006 and earned his degree in medicine from Istanbul University in 2019. Recognized for his outstanding contributions, he received the Physicians for Human Rights Award and the Johns Hopkins University Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. He currently serves as a commissioner at the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health-Lancet Commission on Health, Conflict, and Forced Displacement.

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