Zubia Mumtaz, MBBS, MPH, PhD

Professor, School of Public Health


Professor, School of Public Health
(780) 492-7709
3-309 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9




 My work is centered in the area of global maternal and reproductive health, with a focus on developing innovative solutions and programs to address the problem of high maternal mortality in low and middle-income countries. My research program aims to:

 1) Document how multiple and interlocking axis of inequity - gender, poverty and social exclusion - converge to place some groups of women in socially marginalized positions.

2) Develop an understanding of how these inequities are related to the chronic nature of marginalized women's excessive risk of reproductive health morbidity and mortality. 

3) Assess the performance of health systems in their delivery of maternal/reproductive health services. In partnerships with governments and non-governmental organizations, I conduct implementation research, to assess the quality of services (of both community-based programs and facility-based), coverage, and the challenges of scaling up delivery of services, especially to remote, rural populations.


PhD, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2003 
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, 1996 
MBBS, Aga Khan University, 1988



Member, Royal Society of Canada

Killam Annual Professor, 2016-2017

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Population Health Investigator Award, 2010-2017

Gender, Globalization and Health Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2007-2010

Commonwealth Scholarship, Commonwealth Association, 1999-2002

DAAD Academic Scholarship, 1996



Global health
Reproductive and maternal health
Gender and class inequities
Social determinants of health
Health systems and maternal health policy
Community health workers and midwives
Quantitative, qualitative research methods
Mixed methods research



Collaborations with governments:

  • Policy and Strategic Planning Unit, Government of Punjab, Pakistan
  • Reproductive Health Directorate, Federal Ministry of Health, Government of Malawi
  • Integrated Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and Nutrition Program, Punjab Pakistan
  • Quality Improvement Directorate, Federal Ministry of Health, Government of Malawi

Collaborations with academic institutions:

  • University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • University of Malawi, Malawi
  • Columbia University, United States

Collaborations with non-governmental organizations:

  • Real Medicine Foundation, Pakistan
  • Amref Health Africa, Kenya







Currently accepting MSc and PhD  students interested in Global Health. 

Scholarly Activities

Research - Addressing barriers adolescent girls encounter in schools during menstruation: The Sindh experience

Co-Principal Investigator with Marni Sommer (Columbia University, USA)
Funded by UNICEF

Research - Global Pathways to Medical Abortion

2017 - 2018

Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Research - Improving the Standards Based Management–Recognition Initiative to provide high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi

2015 - 2020

Canadian Principal Investigator with Ellen Chirwa (Malawian PI) and Fannie Kachale (policymaker Co-PI)
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and International Development Research Centre

Research - Scaling up the 24/7 Basic Health Unit strategy to provide round the clock maternity care in Punjab, Pakistan: A theory-driven implementation study

2018 - 2022

Co-Principal Investigator with Sarah Salway (University of Sheffield, UK)
Funded by the Medical Research Council, UK

Research - Social risk factors for preterm births in newcomer women in Alberta - a qualitative exploratory study


Learning from failure? Political expediency, evidence, and inaction in global maternal health practice.
Author(s): Mumtaz, Z, Ferguson A, Bhatti, A and Salway, S
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Social Science and Medicine

Social Franchising: Whatever happened to old-fashioned ideas of evidence-based practice?
Author(s): Mumtaz, Z
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Lancet Global Health

Good on paper: The gap between programme theory and real-world context in Pakistan’s Community Midwife programme
Author(s): Mumtaz, Z, Levay, A, Bhatti, A and Salway, S
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume: 122
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 251-258

Improving maternal health in Pakistan: Towards a deeper understanding of the social determinants of poor women's access to maternal health services
Author(s): Mumtaz, Z, Salway, S, Bhatti A, Shanner L, Zaman S and Laing, L
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: American Journal of Public Health
Volume: 104
Issue: S17-S24

The role of social geography on lady health workers’ mobility and effectiveness in Pakistan
Author(s): Mumtaz, Z, Nykiforuk, C, Bhatti A, Atahullah, A, Salway, S
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Social Science and Medicine
Volume: 91
Page Numbers: 48-57

Understanding the gendered influences on women’s reproductive health in Pakistan: Moving beyond the autonomy paradigm
Author(s): Mumtaz, Z and Salway, S
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Social Science and Medicine
Volume: 68
Issue: 7
Page Numbers: 1349-56