Kabul: The French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) held its fifth graduation ceremony of the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Programme on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at FMIC Auditorium. Twelve specialists including 10 male and 2 female doctors were awarded certificates in seven specializations i.e. Anesthesia, Radiology, Orthopedics, Pediatric Surgery, Pathology, Pediatric Medicine and Cardiology.
Dr. Ahmad Jan Naeem, Advisor to the Minister of Public Health, Afghanistan and Dr Shafiq Mirzazada, Director, Academic Projects in Afghanistan, Aga Khan University (AKU-APA) awarded the certificates. The ceremony witnessed presence of dignitaries from government, civil society and literati. Representatives of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) agencies, La Chaine de l’Espoir (CDE), FMIC board members and management were also present besides family members of the graduating doctors.
Ambassador Sheherazade Hirji, AKDN Diplomatic Representative to Afghanistan in her address said that FMIC’s PGME is a flagship program developed in partnership with the Aga Khan University and Ministry of Public Health that brings cutting-edge skills and knowledge in Afghanistan through its blended program while training doctors in rare specialties, promoting clinical practices and evolving research based inquiry in medicine. She further said that the role of FMIC is significant in promoting gender equality as the first female specialist in pediatric surgery, pathology and radiology were trained at FMIC during the past years. In his speech, Dr Ahmad Jan Naeem praised all the efforts of the graduating doctors with the hope that those doctors will serve the people of Afghanistan to the best of their abilities as the people of Afghanistan have more expectations from well-trained specialists in rare fields. He also applauded FMIC’s contribution in improving the healthcare system in Afghanistan.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Dr Shafiq Mirzazada, appreciated the efforts of the faculty both at FMIC and AKU for their strenuous efforts towards improving health human resources in Afghanistan. He said that in 2019 FMIC-PGME introduced yet another specialization in cardiovascular surgery being the 8th field of specialization. He also conveyed the message of congratulations to the grandaunts and their families on behalf of Dr. Eric Cheysson, co-founded La Chaîne de L’Espoir. In her valedictorian speech Dr Lema Helali paid tribute to FMIC and AKU for providing a merit based platform to Afghan doctors which is challenging yet exciting and rewarding. On behalf of the entire cohort, she made a resolve that to the best of their abilities, they will serve the people of Afghanistan.
The healthcare system in Afghanistan is in a critical need for specialist doctors. FMIC initiated its PGME programme in partnership with the Aga Khan University and the PGME Directorate of the Ministry of Public Health in April 2012 with support from the Government of Canada as a way of building and strengthening the national healthcare system. The PGME programme has also received immense support from the Health Action Plan for Afghanistan (HAPA) grant, supported by Government of Canada, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Afghanistan. FMIC-PGME Programme is accredited by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health and is offered in eight disciplines i.e. pediatric surgery, pediatric medicine, anesthesiology, cardiology, orthopedics, pathology, radiology and cardiovascular surgery.