KARACHI: In the face of a serious shortage of specialized healthcare workers in Afghanistan, the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) has inducted 28 Afghan doctors, 10 women and 18 men, in the fresh cohort of its Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) programme.
According to Aga Khan University information, it’s the highest number of residents inducted in a cohort, in the history of the programme over a decade. Initiated in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health and the Aga Khan University (AKU) in 2012, the programme has so far graduated 74 specialist doctors, including Afghanistan’s first female specialists in pathology, radiology, paediatric surgery, and anaesthesia.
FMIC, which is managed by AKU, is a partnership of the Governments of Afghanistan and France, La Chaine de l’Espoir and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). “Through the support of all the partners, FMIC has trained doctors, nurses and community health workers, and improved the health of women and children through quality healthcare facilities and relevant research,” commented AKU President Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the fresh cohort at FMIC in Kabul, representatives of the Afghan Ministry of Public Health Dr Naik Wali Shah and Dr Ahmad Farshid Mohammadi, who is also the director of the PGME programme at the ministry, lauded FMIC and AKU for evolving an indigenous programme in Afghanistan while maintaining the global standards for scientific enquiry, development of critical healthcare professionals and high-quality clinical practices.
Dr Hidayatullah Hamidi, one of the first graduates and now a faculty member at FMIC-PGME, reflected on his journey of four years in the residency programme which “offered him a plethora of knowledge and exposure in both academics and practice in his area of speciality.”
A representative of the incoming residents thanked FMIC and partners for making this opportunity available to the people of Afghanistan. FMIC’s Chief Executive Officer Aziz Ahmad Jan and the PGME programme administrator Dr Bashir Sakhizada especially acknowledged the collaboration between FMIC and AKU both in Kabul and Karachi respectively.