Omara studied medicine from Pakistan and epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health on Fulbright scholarship programme. She joined the University of York in 2012 for her PhD in Health Sciences, thesis titled: "Understanding variations in the outcome of a smoking cessation programme in Tuberculosis patients in Pakistan - the role of fidelity?" and continued working as a Research Fellow on a multi-site effectiveness-implementation hybrid study (TB & Tobacco) investigating ways in which interventions designed to encourage people to stop smoking can be integrated into national tuberculosis (TB) control programmes in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
Omara's work focuses on evaluation of context-specific low-cost cessation strategies in low and middle-income countries to improve the health and longevity of people suffering from tobacco-related diseases. She has worked in south Asian countries with a particular interest in process evaluation and the role of fidelity to complex interventions when integrated in existing health services.
- MBBS, MPH (Epi)
- PhD (Health Sciences)
- Member, Research Governance Committee, Department of Health Sciences
- International student support ambassador, York Ambassadors' Scheme, University of York (2014 - 2015)
- The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), 2010, on Developing the evidence-base for reinforcing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support among the flood-affected populations in Pakistan
- The World Health Organization (WHO), 2017, on Development of content algorithm for mTB-Tobacco programme- a text messaging system for TB patients to promote TB treatment adherence and tobacco cessation. This programme is part of an initiative called “Be He@lthy, Be Mobile” to use mobile technology, in particular text messaging and apps, to help combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
- Waterpipe tobacco smoking in the United Kingdom: a cross sectional study in several universities (2013/14), a survey of students conducted in six UK universities (UCL, KCL, Imperial College London, Cardiff, UWE and UoY)
- Secretary (2013/15), Tobacco Control Section, International Union Against Tuberculosis & Lung Disease (IUATLD; https://www.theunion.org/).
- Programme Secretary (2015/17), Tobacco Control Section, IUATLD.
- Vice chair (2017/19), Tobacco Control Section, IUATLD.
- Operations Coordinator (2016/17), Comorbidity Workgroup, SRNT (Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco) Treatment Network (https://www.srnt.org/).
- Coordinator (2017-ongoing), SRNT Treatment Research Network communications subcommittee.
Member, Review Board of the ‘American Journal of Health Behavior’ (https://ajhb.org/journal-reviewers/review-board/#letterd)
Invited talks and conferences
Oral presentations and talks at:
- A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of varenicline in hookah tobacco smokers in Pakistan. 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health Proceedings: Cape Town, South Africa, Session title: Advancing Hookah/Waterpipes Science: EP-260-4, 2018
- Workshop, How to help TB patients to quit smoking, improve their outcomes and reduce the risk of their family developing TB, at the forthcoming 48th Union World conference on Lung Health, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2017.
- Invited talk "Working with Waterpipe (Shisha & Hookah) Smokers", at a plenary titled: Working Together to Reach Smokers, at the 8th International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) world conference at Amsterdam in May 2016.
- Explaining variation in outcomes of complex interventions for smoking cessation. SRNT 22nd Annual Meeting Proceedings: Chicago, USA: POS4-35, 256, 2016.
- Behavioural support Intervention for Smokeless tobacco Cessation in south Asians (BISCA): its Development and Feasibility testing in Pakistan and in the UK. SRNT 22nd Annual Meeting Proceedings: Chicago, USA: SYM2D, 3, 2016.
- A quest for the active ingredients of a behavioural intervention for smoking cessation in TB patients: a methodological study. 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health Proceedings: Abu Dhabi, UAE, Symposium title: Tobacco Cessation in TB and HIV Patients – ‘a Low Hanging Fruit, 2015.
- Developing and evaluating a behavioural support intervention for smokeless tobacco cessation in Pakistan and the UK. 46th Union World conference on Lung Health Proceedings: Cape Town, South Africa, Symposium title: Smokeless tobacco: a silent killer, S59, 2015.
- Effect of cessation interventions on hookah smoking: post-hoc analysis of a cluster randomised controlled trial. 11th Pakistan Chest Society Biennial Conference on Lung Health Proceeding: Islamabad, Pakistan, 2014.
- Effect of cessation interventions on hookah smoking: post-hoc analysis of a cluster randomised controlled trial. 2nd International Conference on Waterpipe Smoking Research: A collision of two epidemics of Waterpipe and Cigarettes Proceedings: Doha, Qatar, 2014.
- Predictors of cessation in smokers suspected of Tuberculosis and enrolled in a cluster randomised controlled trial in Pakistan. 45th Union World conference on Lung Health Proceedings: Barcelona, Spain, OAP-255-30, S232, 2014.
- Post-graduate course, An Introduction to Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trials in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, at the 45th Union World conference on Lung Health, Barcelona, Spain, 2014.
- Effect of behavioural support with and without bupropion on six-month smoking abstinence among hookah smokers: a sub-group analysis of the ASSIST Pakistan trial. SRNT 19th Annual Meeting Proceedings: Boston, USA: PA5-3, 40, 2013.
- Second-hand smoking in households and pulmonary tuberculosis: a systematic review and a meta-analysis. 44th Union World conference on Lung Health Proceedings: Paris, France: PC-545-01, S231, 2013.
- Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation to enhance Tuberculosis control in Pakistan: an evaluation. 44th Union World conference on Lung Health Proceedings: Paris, France: PC-450-01, S183, 2013.
- Reducing exposure to second-hand smoke in the home- involving schools (Bangladesh). 44th Union World conference on Lung Health Proceedings: Paris, France: S11, 2013.
Awards and Prizes:
- Fulbright Programme for Masters Study, 2008 - 2010
- Departmental Studentship for doctoral study, 2012 - 2015
- SRNT full scholarship for oral presentation at the 19th Annual Meeting in Boston, USA, 2013
- Departmental Annual Student Prize, 2015