Dr Muna Abdel Aziz is the Director of Public Health for Salford from January 2020, and previously the Director of Public Health in Warrington.
Muna has a medical degree and first started her career in public health in Sudan in 1992 as an academic. She completed her MD in Sudan, PhD from Cambridge, and she is professionally accredited as a specialist in public health in both countries. She is a founding member of the Sudanese Public Health Network in the UK from 2003, and the Sudan Health Consultancy who have worked with the UK Faculty of Public Health to support the Sudan health system as a special interest group.
In her career as a Consultant in Public Health, Muna worked in Salford and Sheffield, then three years in the Sudan where she helped establish the Sudan Public Health Institute in her role as Deputy Director. In that time, she led several researches and consultancies covering Human Resources for Health, Mobile health, the National Cancer Strategy, and the Strategic Plan for Epidemiological diseases in Sudan. Her work has also covered diverse topics like malaria, maternal and child health, management of long-term conditions, and health impact assessments of industry.
Muna returned to the UK and joined Warrington Borough Council in November 2013, then she became the Director of Public Health and Prevention Services from May 2016. In that role, she led a number of departments including housing, neighbourhoods, environmental health and licensing; making the case for multidisciplinary multiagency approaches to improve health and tackle inequalities.
From 1 January 2020 as the Director of Public Health for Salford, she is leading the public health response to COVID-19, advising care homes, schools, colleges, nurseries and workplaces. She set up the local Test and Trace team in Salford who are acting early on suspected cases, arranging testing, tracing their contacts, and managing outbreaks. Her motto for this is ‘Keeping the virus visible, so we can stop onward transmission’ and ‘Every small change can make a huge difference’.
In Greater Manchester, she leads the group overseeing infection control in care homes, and she is the public health lead for community engagement. Muna led the work to protect ethnic minority communities, staff and volunteers through individual risk assessments and COVID risk health checks.
Muna initiated the work in Salford to tackle inequalities during COVID, recognising that for Salford ‘Now is the Time to Act’. Her interest in economy and health is central to her work on ‘Health in Business’ and ‘Health in Planning’ for inclusive growth. Together with a group of friends, she has been on an incredible journey setting up YourB which is the first Sharia-compliant credit union in the UK authorised in January 2020.
Muna continues to engage globally on initiatives that affect countries and regions with a special interest in maternal and child health, public health information systems, and mobile health. Previously the International CPD Adviser for the UK Faculty of Public Health and Training Programme Director for Public Health Specialty in Cheshire and Merseyside for Health Education England, Muna retains her passion for education and continuing professional development. She believes that system leadership and multi-disciplinary working across sectors will be key to achieving the transformation needed to meet the sustainable development goals.
Port Sudan, Sudan