Sama Elmahdy is a junior majoring in both Psychology and Global Health, with a minor in Chemistry. Her research interests primarily lie in addressing health disparities, especially as they relate to vulnerable communities. At Duke, she conducts research as a member of Dr. Puffer’s Global Mental Health Lab and Dr. Weinthal’s “Mapping WASH & COVID in the MENA” Bass Connections team. This past summer, she worked with the Kenan Refugee Research Team to address COVID-related issues within the Durham refugee community. In her free time, Sama likes to explore Durham and paint with friends. 

Sama Elmahdy and Hadeel Hamoud plan to map the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in Egypt and Sudan, and examine how, if at all, organizations are expanding access WASH in an attempt to alleviate COVID-19 impacts. Their study will be used to offer guidance for supporting sustainable and resilient peace-building efforts through illustrating the connections between WASH and peacebuilding. The project will build on the Mapping WASH and COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) team’s recent work to track the spread and impact of COVID-19 cases and vaccinations in the MENA region.  


Coping with Crisis: How WASH Humanitarian Actors in Egypt and Sudan Responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Opportunities for Resilience