Commitment to Help Afghan Health Sector

Commitment to Help Afghan Health SectorCommitment to Help Afghan Health Sector

Iran and Afghanistan signed six memoranda of understanding late last week to boost cooperation in the health sector.

The MoUs were signed during a ceremony attended by Iranian Health Minster Seyyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi and his Afghan counterpart Firouzeddin Firouz in Kabul, IRNA reported.

The two sides expressed hope that the implementation of agreements will help the neighboring war-ravaged country strengthen its health science and medical sector.

They also agreed to cooperate in different fields of education and research, treatment of communicable and infectious diseases, hospital services and pharmaceuticals.

“On Tuesday, the 70th successful kidney transplant operation was performed in the Afghan city of Herat with the cooperation of Iranian medical specialists,” Firouz said, adding that, “Iran’s Health Ministry has plans to offer training in areas of brain and heart surgery to Afghan physicians.” Kidney transplant in Afghanistan was one of the provisions of a memorandum of understanding signed in 2014 between the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences and the Afghan Health Ministry.

In May 2016, the first successful kidney transplant was performed in Herat in  cooperation with Iranian specialists.

During the ceremony, Hashemi agreed to help Afghanistan in constructing a hospital. Iran has committed to sending specialists to provide training on the latest methods of blood transfusion to Afghan specialists.

Furthermore, the Iranian Blood transfusion Organization will hold workshops for Afghan experts to train them in good manufacturing practices, or GMP, of blood products.

According to the World Health Organization, implementation and enforcement of GMP in blood and plasma collection is considered a priority to minimize the risk of transmitting currently known and emerging blood-borne diseases.  During the meeting, Hashemi made a commitment to offer scholarships to 500 Afghan medical students every year.

“Iran will pay for 50% of the students’ education costs,” he said. Earlier, Afghan Minister of Higher Education Farideh Momand had said that while there are 35 state-run and 117 private universities in Afghanistan, students in her country prefer to study in Iran due to the quality of education in Iranian varsities.

After India, Iran is the most popular destination for Afghan students seeking medical training abroad. Decades of wars, civil strife and terror campaigns have caused social, economic and educational harm to the impoverished country.

Currently 17,000 Afghan students are studying in Iran, around 700 of them in medical science programs. Another 360,000, mostly children of refugees, are studying in Iranian schools.


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