Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Family Medicine at Aga Khan University in East Africa.

Our department is focused on improving the quality of training and health care in East Africa by providing a medical education specifically tailored to the context of the region. With this knowledge, our graduates will go on to help shape the future of family medicine in East Africa.

Our Family Medicine Residency Training programme in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is one of the first of its kind in East Africa. Each year, we welcome 3-4 new residents.

Plans are currently underway to expand the Family Medicine Residency Training programme to a second site, at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH,N) in Kenya. Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Medical Services in Kenya, our undergraduate and postgraduate trainees will work with Gatundu District Hospital and its adjacent communities. This will provide an excellent opportunity for students to receive contextual training with a community orientation, while delivering quality and evidence-based health care.

Our programmes within Tanzania are also evolving. We are in the process of expanding our training and service programmes to include upcountry Primary Medical Centres and are adopting Community Oriented Primary Care strategies in our practices and training programme.

Our passionate and experienced faculty is privileged to have an ongoing professional development programme, which ensures our clinical knowledge remains current and promotes expertise in education. We have also been using a peer teaching approach to give our teachers feedback on clinical teaching, which ensures that they are providing outstanding care and learning experiences for our residents.

Overall, it is our goal to provide integrated primary health care training at our existing and proposed teaching sites in Tanzania and Kenya. Our practice and training focus on the 10 ‘Cs’ of family medicine, which are:

1. Clinical competence
2. Cost-effective care
3. Comprehensive care
4. Caring attitude
5. Continuity of care
6. Coordination of care, with effective communication and counselling skills
7. Expertise in managing prevailing common problems
8. Update of knowledge and skills through continuous medical education
9. Creating new knowledge through community-based research
10. In an East African context, all these attributes come together in our Community Oriented Primary Care strategy.

The Department of Family Medicine plays a central role in providing undergraduate students with the holistic, community-oriented, primary care-focused education emphasised by Aga Khan University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. In this way, we work to cultivate effective primary care practitioners who are experts in providing quality health care to East African communities.

Dr Raheem H. Dhanani
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine