University Partnership for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce in Afghanistan

02 Oct, 2017


Carolyn M. Porta, University of Minnesota, Nursing/Public Health, Minneapolis, MINNESOTA/US

Farid Barnayar, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Medicine/Medical Lab Technology, KABUL, AF  And the KUMS-UMN Partnership Team

Title: University Partnership for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce in Afghanistan



Health in Afghanistan has improved since 2009 but increasing instability and armed conflict pose serious threats to sustaining successes that include reduced maternal mortality and improved diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and chronic disease. Afghan university faculty are educating the

future healthcare workforce in Afghanistan with extremely limited institutional and human resources. The purpose of this University partnership between Kabul University of Medical Sciences (KUMS) and the University of Minnesota (UMN) is to strengthen the KUMS faculties of midwifery, anesthesiology,

medical lab technology, and dentistry. These four faculties were identified by the administration of KUMS as priority foci based on internal (e.g., faculty skills and capacity) and external (e.g., existing healthcare workforce gaps) needs. This presentation describes the initial and ongoing development of

this unique and vital international university partnership.

Description: The KUMS-UMN partnership began in 2017 with support from the University Support and Workforce Development Program (USWDP). Twenty-one faculty members met to confirm partnership goals. KUMS faculty requested (1) short courses (e.g., technical knowledge and skills; instructional design and use of simulation; research methodologies), (2) university and clinical site visits to observe teaching models in different settings, and (3) a faculty peer internship program. The short courses and site visits are planned in countries accessible by the Afghan and American faculties which have faculty and clinical sites illing to collaborate. The meeting included instruction on simulation, and interactive simulation exercises that provided a unique relationship-building opportunity for the KUMS and UMN faculty. The faculty came to common understanding over the week-long intensive meeting. Conversations yielded consensus about faculty development needs, resources, and opportunities, an activity plan, and evaluation strategy. Post-evaluations for the workplan meeting were overwhelmingly positive, with faculty affirming objectives were met, and describing appreciation for the balance among workplan, simulation, and relationship-building sessions.  Quotes here 100 % to report?

Conclusions: International university partnerships require administrative support, and committed faculty willing to learn from one another. This KUMS-UMN faculty partnership has potential to significantly advance the capacity of the Afghanistan healthcare workforce, and to positively influence the health of the Afghan people.


Funding: USAID/FHI360 #AID-306-A-13-00009

Type: Education. Category 5- Administrative issues related to education, including working with university administration and international partners

Category: Oral Presentation

Key Words: Education, Health Systems, Workforce (these are from a list we must select from)