In the developed world
medicine moves by leaps and bound; in the developing world the training
of a neurologist is a feat in itself. This was case this March when
Afghanistan welcomed Drs Esmatullah Hamed and Khatool Najmi, trained
through a unique partnership between with the Afghan Research and
Education Fund, the American Academy of Neurology and the Aga Khan
Afghanistan suffers from a lack of specialist
doctors, particularly in neurology. Like other low-income economies
with a booming population, neurological diseases are on the rise and
care is much sought-after in the war-torn region.
Given the urgent need, Professor Mohammad
Wasay, a senior neurologist at AKU’s Medical College, spearheaded the
discussions to develop master trainers in neurology in Afghanistan. By
2011, he had persuaded the Afghan Research and Education Fund and the
American Academy of Neurology to fund a customised 2-year training
programme for Afghan doctors at AKU.
After a rigorous selection process, Drs Hamed
and Najmi from Kabul began the training in March 2011, under the
guidance of Dr Sarwar Siddiqui, AKU’s Neurology Residency Programme
Director. While both residents successfully completed the programme, Dr
Hamed completed an additional year of training in child neurology and
neurophysiology and is planning to work at the French Medical Institute
for Children, Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Aga Khan University has been
internationally recognised and acknowledged for its efforts in laying
the foundation for neurological care in Afghanistan by several
institutions in the field including the American Academy of Neurology,
World Federation of Neurology, Association of Asian Neurology and Asian
and Oceanian Association of Neurology.
Upcoming Neurology course in Afghanistan
A capacity-building neurology course will be
conducted in June and August 2014, with funding from the Asian and
Oceanian Association of Neurology and the World Federation of Neurology
(WFN). This will be similar to the 5-day neurology course conducted in
2012, with WFN support, where 35 general practitioners were provided
basic neurological care knowledge with Drs Sarwar Siddiqui, Mohammad
Wasay and Mughis Sheerani as key facilitators.