AKDN trains doctors, nurses, midwives, health professionals and administrators. We support health policy, nursing standards and midwifery education. In 2012, for example, the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) launched a programme in postgraduate medical education, which now covers paediatric medicine, paediatric surgery, anaesthesiology, paediatric orthopaedics, paediatric cardiology, pathology and radiology.
AKDN has conducted medical education, training and learning sessions for nearly 13,000 health professionals. Since 2005, AKDN has trained over 400 midwives in the country, about 10 percent of the total. The training of midwives plays a vital role in reducing maternal mortality, which in Afghanistan had dropped from 1,600/100,000 live births in 2003 to 400/100,000 live births in 2015.
An e-health system, which allows hospitals serving remote populations to consult FMIC in Kabul, Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi and other hospitals, has benefited over 20,000 patients throughout the country. More than 4,000 Afghan medical personnel have participated in diagnostic and training opportunities facilitated by e-health technology.
AKF works on a number of health fronts such as increasing breastfeeding, promoting hygiene, nutrition and sanitation, the reduction of infant and maternal mortality and the construction of health facilities. Ancillary activities in agricultural and food security, nutrition, sanitation and youth employment aim to improve overall health.
In addition, AKDN has refurbished several facilities, including health centres that had been damaged or neglected. AKU has contributed to the revitalisation of national institutions, such as the Government’s Institute of Health Sciences (IHS). Amongst other institution-strengthening activities, we have set up a science laboratory at HIS and assisted with a revision of the pre-Soviet curriculum, English language skills and computer training.
French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children, Kabul
Afghanistan’s premier women’s and children’s hospital, FMIC, is managed by the Aga Khan University (AKU) in partnership with the governments of France and Afghanistan and the French NGO, La Chaîne de l’Espoir.
Since its establishment in 2006, the 169-bed hospital has served 1.5 million patients from all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces. It has repeatedly been the first to perform various surgical procedures in Afghanistan, and is renowned for its cardiac surgery programme. FMIC provides free and discounted care to tens of thousands of low-income Afghans every year through its Patient Welfare Programme. Its pioneering telemedicine programme enables patients at remote hospitals to obtain care from FMIC’s specialists. Since 2012, AKU has been training specialist physicians at FMIC through its Postgraduate Medical Education programme.