Incarcerated populations have much higher rates of infectious diseases than the general population due to poor health care access and utilization in the community, high risk life styles, the congregate living setting associated with incarceration and fragmented health care between the community and correctional facilities. These factors contribute to higher disease transmission rates in the broader community when inmates are released. Yet this is an undeveloped area of preventive medicine and public health at both national and international levels. My goal is to bring patient and population health care services, including education and care, into correctional facilities and the inner city to lower rates of communicable disease occurrence and transmission.
Dr. Rabia Ahmed’s expertise in infectious diseases is improving the health of inmates and the communities they live in. She has developed programs for infection control and prevention, HIV care, women’s health and STI treatment and screening in correctional facilities.
Dr. Ahmed is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) Medical program. She completed her residency in internal medicine in Saskatoon and a clinical infectious diseases residency at the University of Alberta. She also pursued specialized training in tuberculosis (TB) at the National Jewish Medical and Research Centre in Denver, WHO Sondalo TB traning Center in Italy and epidemiology at the Agencia de Salut Publica in Barcelona.
Leadership and Collaborations:
In addition to creating new protocols and practices for infectious disease control in provincial correctional facilities, Dr. Ahmed developed a multi-disciplinary care and outreach clinic for people living in Edmonton’s inner city who have active or latent TB. She also developed a clinic for HIV care, education and outreach in several Alberta correctional facilities. She has also developed a Women’s Health Clinic for incarcerated women within provincial correctional facilities.
Dr. Ahmed is the coordinator of the Infectious Diseases Elective for fourth year medical students.
Dr. Ahmed provides classroom instruction for medical students, clinical instruction and supervision at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the University of Alberta Hospital, and continuous professional learning sessions and grand rounds.
Dr. Ahmed’s clinical research in infectious disease has garnered regional and national funding support. She has published and co-published in such peer-reviewed journals as Canadian Journal of Public Health, International Journal of Prisoner Health, Journal of Correctional Health Care and Medical Teacher. In conjunction with her research and clinical focus, Dr. Ahmed has presented internationally on infectious disease management in settings such as homelessness and incarceration.
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