Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah Eisa – a highly respected professor of medicine, physician, community leader and human rights advocate – is the first medical doctor to hail from Jabel Marra, a region in Darfur, Sudan with a population of more than a half million people. For more than 15 years, he taught internal medicine and trained health professionals in Darfur while treating patients at the Nyala Teaching Hospital, where he headed the Epidemiology Department for three years. As the foremost epidemiologist in the region, Dr. Mohammed reported and treated vitamin C deficiency disease among displaced people in local refugee camps and controlled a severe meningitis epidemic.
At the outbreak of war in Darfur in early 2000, the Sudanese government threatened Dr. Mohammed because he began treating victims of torture and sexual violence. He co-facilitated peace negotiations and directed a large network of physicians and health professionals to create the Amel Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Nyala, Darfur, serving as its Medical Director. He also cooperated with several national and international human rights organizations, submitting documentation of torture cases in Darfur.
In 2007, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights recognized Dr. Mohammed with the RFK Human Rights Award, presented annually to individuals who risk their lives for human rights. Two years later, while Dr. Mohammed was in the U.S. for a RFK Center event, the Sudanese government disbanded the Amel Center, threatening Dr. Mohammed with detention and torture if he returned to Sudan. Reluctantly, he remained in the U.S. and requested help from SRF and his colleagues to continue his work on behalf of victims in Sudan. With a SRF fellowship, he joined the Harvard School of Public Health’s Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, where he developed a medical protocol for the treatment of women and girls who have suffered rape, sexual violence, and domestic abuse.
Among other projects during his SRF fellowship, Dr. Mohammed collaborated with the California International Law Center at the UC Davis School of Law to publish a report entitled “Toward Peace with Justice in Darfur: A Framework for Accountability,” which was recently launched at an event in Washington, D.C. in March 2011. Now on his second SRF fellowship, Dr. Mohammed is collaborating with Physicians for Human Rights to mobilize the Sudanese Diaspora and transfer information and resources to communities in Sudan working towards transitional justice and reconciliation. In August 2011, he and his colleagues will publish a new paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Medical Evidence of Torture and Other Human Rights Violations in Darfur”.