First Afghan doctors complete training in Pakistan

First Afghan Doctors complete Training in Pakistan under AKU’s customised Neurology Residency Programme

American Academy of Neurology acknowledges Aga Khan University’s role in improving neurological care in Afghanistan

March 31, 2014

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 University.

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.


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