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Maisam Najafizada

Community Health and Humanities
MA, PhD (University of Ottawa), MD (Balkh University, Afghanistan)

Assistant Professor of Public & Population Health

Faculty of Medicine, M4M214
Memorial University of Newfoundland
300 Prince Philip Drive 
St. John’s, Newfoundland, CANADA   |   A1B 3V6
t: 709 864-3376
f: 709 864-4991


Maisam Najafizada, MA MD PhD, is interested in the intersection of population/public health and health systems. In the past five years, his research activities comprised evaluation of primary health care programs (population health interventions) within national health systems, assessing rural community interventions to improve overall population health, and synthesizing the literature around Community Health Workers as a potential Human Resources for Health for a Population Health System. Within the broader field of population and public health, his interests are:
Complex Adaptive Health Systems
Comprehensive Primary Health Care
Human Resources for (Population) Health
International Comparison of Health (Care) Systems
Health Policy Analysis

Current Research Projects

Helping community health workers address social causes of poor maternal and child health
To support community health workers in addressing the root causes of poor health, the CLEAR toolkit has been developed by an international collaboration of researchers and policymakers. The CLEAR toolkit is designed as a practical clinical decision-aid to help community health workers in not only treating the medical issues, but also asking their patients about underlying social problems, referring to local support services and advocating for larger social change. This can serve to promote community development and counteract the “inverse care law” with the aim of improving the health of disadvantaged populations and reducing health inequities. The CLEAR toolkit is being piloted in a number of settings (Pakistan, Uganda and Canada) around the world to determine how the toolkit can best be adapted and used in a wide range of contexts. The aim of this research is to pilot the CLEAR toolkit in rural Afghanistan with the following objectives.
Courses Taught:
MED6293 Knowledge Transfer and Research Uptake
MED6721 Disease and Injury Prevention
MED6220 Introduction to Community Health
MED6288 Policy and Decision-Making

Selected Publications
  • Najafizada, S.A.M., Cohen, M. (2017). Community-entrepreneurship tackling poverty in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan. World Development Perspective. 5. 24-26
  • Najafizada, S.A.M., Labonte, R., Bourgeault, I.L. (2017). Stakeholder’s perspective: Sustainability of a community health worker program in Afghanistan. Evaluation and Program Planning. 60. 123-129
  • Cohen, D., … Najafizada, S.A.M. (2016). Canada’s International Health System Performance Over 50 Years. Canadian Institute for Health Information. Available at https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/final_international_pyll_en.pdf
  • Najafizada, et al. (2015). The role of Community Health Workers in Canada and some other HICS: a scoping review. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 106(3), e157-e164 doi: 10.17269/CJPH.106.4747
  • Azimi, M. D., Najafizada S.A.M, Khaing, I.K., Hamajima, N. (2015) Factors Influencing Non-institutional Deliveries in Afghanistan: Secondary Analysis of the Afghanistan Mortality Survey 2010. Nagoya Journal of medical Science. 77, 133-43
  • Najafizada, S.A.M., Labonte, R., Bourgeault. I. L. (2014) Community health workers of Afghanistan: a qualitative study of a national program. Conflict and Health, 8:26 doi:10.1186/1752-1505-8-26