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Nahya Awada

PhD Candidate

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Nahya is a PhD candidate at the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) at Carleton University. She began her PhD study in September 2015. Her main research interests centre on access to healthcare services and drugs for rare diseases (DRDs) in Canada, and her areas of expertise include research, education, management, and genetic metabolic diseases.

Nahya’s doctoral research investigates the experiences of Canadian patients living with rare diseases and their families, particularly with regards to disease management and navigation of healthcare systems in Canada. She also examines how existing Canadian DRD policies and programs impact the overall quality of life of Canadian people living with rare diseases. Through this national research project, Nahya hopes to contribute to the establishment of the national Strategy for High-cost Drugs for Rare Diseases, which was announced by Health Canada in 2018 and is expected to be established in 2022–23. The findings of this national study will contribute to the development of patient-focused public-health policies that incorporate rare-disease patients’ unique insights into disease management and access to healthcare services in Canada. Ultimately, this could positively impact the healthcare of the 2.8 million Canadian people who are affected by rare diseases.

Nahya holds a master’s degree in Clinical Research and Administration from the University of Liverpool and an International Postgraduate Degree in Genetic Metabolic Disorders from Germany. She is also the proud recipient of the Outstanding Exemplar award, which she received for leading a Magnet Prize-winning program that improved the quality of life and health outcomes for patients with rare genetic metabolic diseases in Saudi Arabia. She has presented her work at conferences in several European and Middle Eastern countries.