Dr Elmoubasher Farag is a senior infectious disease epidemiologist and the head of the Communicable Disease Control Programs at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Qatar since 2012.
Dr Elmoubasher is also a holder of two PhDs, one in Emerging Viruses and One Health and the other in Communicable Disease surveillance. He is also a Fellow at the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Surgeon and Physicians FFPH (UK). When MERS-CoV emerged in Qatar in 2012, Dr. Elmoubasher was assigned to lead the field investigation. Using the One Health (OH) approach, he managed to identify the source of MERS-CoV from dromedary camels, a scientific breakthrough that marked the first isolation of the novel virus from the animal kingdom. Subsequently, his epidemiological investigations helped determine the potential risk factors and the most-at-risk populations. As a focal person for the emerging viruses in the country, Dr. Elmoubasher led the investigation in Qatar for COVID-19 cases. He uncovered the first cluster of cases in March 2020.
Dr Elmoubasher was one of 10 international experts assigned by the WHO in 2021 to trace the origin of COVID-19. Also, recognizing his experience in one health, Dr Elmoubasher was again selected as one of the 26 Experts to be part of the recently established One Health High-Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP) advising the FAO, OIE, UNEP and WHO in One Health.
Dr Elmoubasher has focused some of his efforts for the past nine years on building the capacities of the national Rapid Response Teams in epidemiology and public health through establishing training programs agreements with high profile organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), University of Liverpool and Pasteur Institute. Currently, Dr Elmoubasher is leading the national efforts establishing the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in Qatar in collaboration with CDC where he is appointed as the FETP program manager.
As part of his endeavors to advocate for OH, Dr. Elmoubasher arranged a Regional Workshop on MERS-CoV and One Health in 2015, which fostered ‘Doha Declaration on MERS-CoV and One Health.’ Later, he helped develop both the WHO-EMRO Framework for Emerging Infectious Diseases and OH. Most recently, in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Dr Elmoubasher participated in the development of the risk assessment framework.
Dr Elmoubasher’s experience in research qualified him to manage 8-million-US dollar total of grants. He currently leads seven research grants on One Health and is an author of more than 150 publications. Dr. Elmoubasher’s research on ‘One Health and Emerging Infections’ was awarded the first prize of the WHO Fifth Meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Acute Respiratory Infection Surveillance (EMARIS) Network in 2019.