The PACES centre at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi is the 25th such centre in the world.
The Medical College at the Aga Khan University in East Africa hosted the first practical examinations for doctors who are planning to specialise in different fields of medicine.
A total of 45 doctors from all over the continent took part in the Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills (PACES) organised by the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, MRCP(UK). The examinations are recognised internationally as a benchmark of quality in medical knowledge and clinical skills.
The holding of the examinations follows a partnership between Aga Khan University and MRCP(UK) making the university the only centre in Sub-Saharan Africa to offer both the written and practical exams offered by the UK-based body. The first written exams were taken in January 2019.
“The approval of Aga Khan University as the only MRCP(UK) examinations centre in Sub-Saharan Africa attests to the high-quality training at the Medical College in East Africa. It illustrates our commitment to improve the quality of healthcare in the region by ensuring we adhere to international standards in our training and examination for doctors,” said Professor Robert Armstrong, Dean of AKU’s Medical College in East Africa.
The PACES centre at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi is the 25th such centre in the world. Having it in Nairobi makes it more convenient and affordable for doctors to specialise in internal medicine by eliminating their need to travel to the United Kingdom to take examinations. The exam will now take place twice yearly in the city.
“We are delighted to partner with the Aga Khan University to establish the first MRCP(UK) examinations centre in sub-Saharan Africa,” said the Federation International Medical Director, Assessment, Dr Donald Farquhar. “The University has proven itself as an institution committed to offering high quality training, making it an excellent partner in the nurturing of high-quality doctors equipped with the requisite skills to address patient needs in the 21st century.”
PACES exam is the largest international clinical examination for postgraduate physicians in the world and will run at AKU from March 15 to 17, 2019. It involves senior physicians using real patients to assess doctors’ competency in diagnosis, treatment and management of patients, ensuring that successful candidates are able to provide a high standard of care. The initiative has been led by AKU Assistant Professor Dr Dilraj Singh Sokhi who is the lead for Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians in East Africa.
“Seventeen doctors from across the region, including three resident doctors from Aga Khan University Hospital took the written exam in January,” said Dr Sokhi. “Those who pass the examinations will be awarded the MRCP(UK) diploma, which is an internationally recognised qualification, enabling them to receive advanced training in specialised areas of medicine.”
Professor Michael Chung, chair of the department of medicine at AKU, noted that the achievement has been received positively by the East, Central and Southern Africa College of Physicians, which aim to double the number of medical specialists being trained in the region by 2030.
“Having international standards for examining postgraduate doctors in the region such as MRCP(UK) will improve the breadth and quality care to patients, which aligns with the Social Pillar of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the global Sustainable Development Goals,” said Professor Chung.