Dr. Ikhlaq Ahmad

Email : iqmalik786@gmail.com  |   ikhlaq.ahmad@hsa.edu.pk

Cell : +92-300-5549109




Since 2005, I have actively engaged in various research and implementation projects focused on
mental health, perinatal depression, adolescent mental health, intimate partner violence, prevention
and protection of gender based violence. I am appointed as Secretary for International Marce
Society for Perinatal Depression, South Asian chapter. Throughout my journey, I have had the
privilege of working alongside diverse teams, collaborating with experts, and contributing to the
development and implementation of evidence-based interventions. These experiences have honed
my skills in trainings, research, program design, and evaluation, empowering me to effectively
address the complex needs of individuals and communities.
Beyond my academic and professional achievements, I bring empathy, compassion, and a genuine
commitment to improving the lives of those affected by mental health issues. I firmly believe in
the power of collaboration and the importance of creating inclusive and accessible mental health
services. As I continue to advance in my career, I am eager to leverage my expertise to serve as a
catalyst for change at a regional level. Whether it be coordinating projects, capacitating individuals
through trainings, advocating for policy changes, or providing strategic guidance, I am driven to
contribute to the growth and development of public mental health initiatives.

Academic Qualification

Work Experience


  • Zaka N, Umar M, Ahmad AM, Ahmad I, Reza TE, Sarfraz M, Emmanuel F. Equity
    trends for the UHC service coverage sub-index for reproductive, maternal, newborn and
    child health in Pakistan: evidence from demographic health surveys. Int J Equity Health.
    2023 Nov 2;22(1):230. doi: 10.1186/s12939-023-02043-w. PMID: 37919771; PMCID:
  • Midhet F, Hanif M, Khalid SN, Khan RS, Ahmad I, Khan SA. Factors associated with
    maternal health services utilization in Pakistan: Evidence from Pakistan maternal
    mortality survey, 2019. PLoS One. 2023 Nov 16;18(11):e0294225. doi:
    10.1371/journal.pone.0294225. PMID: 37972097; PMCID: PMC10653445.
  • Ahmad I, Hanif M, Waqas A, et al. Understanding the use of peers for mental health
    care: A meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer
    review]. F1000Research 2023, 12:854
    Khan, Rukhsana, Ahmed Waqas, Zille Huma Mustehsan, Amna Saeed Khan, Siham
    Sikander, Ikhlaq Ahmad, Anam Jamil et al. “Predictors of prenatal depression: A crosssectional study in rural Pakistan.” Frontiers in psychiatry (2021): 1466.
  • Hafeez, A., Kumar, R., Ahmad, I. and Haq, Z (2021) Protecting health care workers
    from COVID-19: implementing a training programme on personal protective equipment,
    Pakistan. WHO EMRO | Protecting health care workers from COVID-19: implementing
    a training programme on personal protective equipment, Pakistan | Reports | In press
    Sharif M, Zaidi A, Waqas A, Malik A, Hagaman A, Maselko J, LeMasters K, Liaqat R, Bilal S, Bibi
    T, Ahmad I, Sikander S and Rahman A (2021) Psychometric Validation of the Multidimensional
    Scale of Perceived Social Support During Pregnancy in Rural Pakistan. Front. Psychol. 12:601563.
    doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.601563
  • Ahmad, I., Suleman, N., Waqas, A.,… Sikander, S,. (2020). Measuring the implementation strength
    of a perinatal mental health intervention delivered by peer volunteers in rural Pakistan. Behaviour
    Research and Therapy.
  • Maselko, J., Sikander, S., Turner, E. L., Bates, L. M., Ahmad, I., Atif, N., … & Rahman,
    A. (2020). Effectiveness of a peer-delivered, psychosocial intervention on maternal
    depression and child development at 3 years postnatal: a cluster randomised trial in
    Pakistan. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(9), 775-787.
  • Vanobberghen, F., Weiss, H. A., Fuhr, D. C., Sikander, S., Afonso, E., Ahmad, I., . . .
    Rahman, A. (2020). Effectiveness of the Thinking Healthy Programme for perinatal
    depression delivered through peers: Pooled analysis of two randomized controlled trials
    in India and Pakistan. J Affect Disord.
  • Sikander, S., Ahmad, I., Bates, L. M., Gallis, J., Hagaman, A., O’Donnell, K., . . .
    Maselko, J. (2019). Cohort Profile: Perinatal depression and child socioemotional
    development ; the Bachpan cohort study from rural Pakistan. BMJ Open, 9(5), e025644.
  • Sikander, S., Ahmad, I., Atif, N., Zaidi, A., Vanobberghen, F., Weiss, H. A., . . . Bibi, A.
    (2019). Delivering the Thinking Healthy Programme for perinatal depression through
    volunteer peers: a cluster randomised controlled trial in Pakistan. The Lancet Psychiatry,
    6(2), 128-139.
  • Atif N, Bibi A, Nisar A, Zulfiqar S, Ahmed I, LeMasters K, Hagaman A, Sikander S,
    Maselko J, Rahman A. Delivering maternal mental health through peer volunteers: a 5-
    year report. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2019 Dec;13(1):1-8.
  • Atif, N., Nisar, A., Bibi, A., Khan, S., Zulfiqar, S., Ahmad, I., . . . Rahman, A. (2019).
    Scaling-up psychological interventions in resource-poor settings: training and supervising
    peer volunteers to deliver the ‘Thinking Healthy Programme’ for perinatal depression in
    rural Pakistan. Global Mental Health, 6, e4. doi: 10.1017/gmh.2019.4
  • Atif, N., Krishna, R. N., Sikander, S., Lazarus, A., Nisar, A., Ahmad, I., . . . Rahman, A.
    (2017). Mother-to-mother therapy in India and Pakistan: adaptation and feasibility
    evaluation of the peer-delivered Thinking Healthy Programme. BMC Psychiatry, 17(1),
    79. doi: 10.1016/s0013-7006(17)30047-7
  • Sadiq, J., Khan, R., Sikander, S., & Ahmed, I. (2017). Depression among Type 2
    Diabetes Mellitus and its Association with Poor Glycemic Control in Patients Visiting
    Tertiary Care Hospital of Islamabad. Pakistan Journal of Medical Research, 56(1), 3-6.
  • Zafar, S., Sikander, S., Ahmad, I., Ahmad, M., Parveen, N., Saleem, S., . . . Bashir, A.
    (2015). Is home delivery really preferred? a mixed-methods national study in Pakistan.
    Health Res Policy Syst, 13(Suppl 1).
  • Sikander, S., Lazarus, A., Bangash, O., Fuhr, D. C., Weobong, B., Krishna, R. N.,
    Ahmad, I., . . . Patel, V. (2015). The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the peerdelivered Thinking Healthy Programme for perinatal depression in Pakistan and India:
    the SHARE study protocol for randomised controlled trials. Trials, 16(1), 534.
  • Sikander S, Maselko J, Zafar S, Haq Z, Ahmad I, Ahmad M, Hafeez A, Rahman A.
    Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling for Exclusive Breastfeeding in Rural Pediatrics: A
    Cluster RCT. Pediatrics. 2015 Feb 1;135(2):e424-31.
  • Singla D, Lazarus A, Atif N, Sikander S, Bhatia U, Ahmad I, Nisar A, Khan S, Fuhr D,
    Patel V, Rahman A. “Someone like us”: Delivering maternal mental health through peers
    in two South Asian contexts. Journal of affective disorders. 2014 Oct 15;168:452-8.
  • Chowdhary N, Sikander S, Atif N, Singh N, Ahmad I, Fuhr DC, Rahman A, Patel V.
    The content and delivery of psychological interventions for perinatal depression by nonspecialist health workers in low and middle income countries: a systematic review. Best
    Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2014 Jan 31;28(1):113-33.
  • Rahman A, Haq Z, Sikander S, Ahmad I, Ahmad M, Hafeez A. Using cognitive
    behavioural techniques to improve exclusive breastfeeding in a low literacy
    disadvantaged population. Maternal & child nutrition. 2012 Jan 1;8(1):57-71.
  • Rahman A, Sikander S, Malik A, Ahmed I, Tomenson B, Creed F. Effective treatment of
    perinatal depression for women in debt and lacking financial empowerment in a lowincome country. Br J Psychiatry. 2012;201(6):451–457.
  • Tareen AM, Ahmed M, Ahmad I, Sikander S, Tahir K, Mirza I, Rahman A. Feasibility
    study of a community-based intervention for mental retardation in rural Pakistan.
    Pakistan Pediatrics Journal 32(4):200-207.:
  • Reports:
    Hafeez A, Zaka N, Ahmad I, Shahzad K, Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child
    Health Outcomes in a Decade, Pakistan Report 2020, , 2000,