Afghanistan’s health status is one of the worst in the world. According to WHO the health indicators in Afghanistan are three to five fold higher than in neighboring countries. Maternal mortality is among the highest and infant and under-five mortality and morbidity rates are the worst.
The epidemiological profile is dominated by communicable diseases؛TB and malaria are the main ones that can be prevented and treated using and simple strategies. In spite of lack of reliable data, there is a consensus that HIV/AIDS is emerging as a serious health concern, given the increasing number of drug users.
Epidemics are frequent, including cholera, hemorrhagic fever, measles, meningitis, pertussis and malaria (population at risk is estimated at 12 million (MoPH/NMP 2004). Still the Polio is not eradicated. The anthropometric data point to high levels of both acute and chronic malnutrition.
The health sector needs to recover from decades of neglect, institutional vacuum and fragmentation. At the end of the conflict, what was left of the health system was characterized by: inadequate infrastructures with dilapidated facilities unevenly distributed across the country; impaired access to health services due to difficult communications and poor security; chronic shortage of skilled health providers (especially female); poor information system; and weak implementation of the national health policies and strategies (WHO-Afghanistan).
With these challenges in mind, to provide a base in preparing highly skilled health care professionals and quality health services, the Faculties of Medicine was established in 2012. It initiated with two faculties: Curative Medicine Faculty and Dental Medical Doctor Faculty.
Considering the essential needs for improvement the knowledge, skills and capacities of the already registered mid-level health workers, ZIHE with sincere support of Ministry of Higher Education and other stakeholders, innovatively initiated the Bridging Education program. This program designed for helping the post-registered midwives, nurses, dental nurses, lab. Technicians and other health staff, to up-grade their education and reach the higher education levels in their respected fields.
The Faculty of Curative Medicine conducts a course of studies of 6 academic years leading the degree of Medical Doctor (MD) to students who successfully pass the examinations undertaken before starting of academic years and satisfy the rules and regulations.
The faculty of Dentistry Medicine, in line with standard curriculum, provides a course of 5 academic years leading the degree of Dental Medical Doctor (DMD) for the student.
The Bridging Faculties for different post-registered health professionals, delivering courses in according with the standard curriculums approved by Ministry of Higher Education for education promotion of Midwives, Nurses, Dental-Nurses and other Medical technologist to upgrade their levels of education and gain higher education advantages.
The education courses are based on the international updated curriculums on premedical and medical sciences and is according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Higher Education of Islamic republic of Afghanistan. The curriculums include standard courses for quality education of every student to be empowered with related knowledge and skills and to behave with all norm and standards for a perfect health service provider. The Faculties of Medicine are well-equipped faculties with lecture halls and laboratories (Biochemistry, Physiology, and Biophysics, Dissection room, Biology/Molecular Biology and Skills laboratories). The practical courses of Medical Science conduct in the Faculties’ laboratories and supervised by the faculty academic staff. The faculties have established advanced Biophysical, Chemical and Biochemical laboratories and workshop such as Nutrition, Health Education, Environmental health, Infants, Internal Medicine, Surgery and etc.
The Teaching Hospital and a number of health centers were established to receive the students. four specialized high-tech diagnostic/treatment hospital were chosen to receive the students for training: Darman hospital where beside different treatment wards for the patients, imaging techniques are housed, e.g., MRI, CT scan, ultrasound and echo scan, and endoscopy. The 2nd clinic is Dr Pirzad medical clinic where neurosurgery and surgery wards operating and equipped with imaging techniques, e.g., EEG, Ultra Sonography, Neurosurgery and Prenatal and Infant facilities. The 3rd is AMIRI hospital which have medicine wards with specialty in Heart diseases, as well as surgery and other important diagnostic and treatment centers. The 4th is Blossom Hospital which provides maternity, medicine and surgery specialized services. ZIHE also have signed memorandum of understanding for sharing practical educational services for its students with some other hospitals as well like Ariana Hospital, Microyan’s maternity hospital, etc. ZIHE also have its own dentistry clinics for practical work of stomatology students.
The following medical faculties includes in the structure of ZIHE:
- Faculty of Curative Medicine: with around 530 students including 60-65% Female and 35-40% Male.
- Faculty of Dental Medicine: with 310 students including 60%female and 40% male.
This program for first time in Afghanistan started as the initiative of ZIHE with the genuine support of the Ministry of Higher Education. This program implemented by ZIHE considering all the accepted academic norms and national standards. The complementary higher education bridging system includes the following faculties: