Posted by: ihfgeneva | November 4, 2013

“Moving towards Quality Healthcare for Mother and Child”: FMIC International Conference

The French Medical Institute for Children, an associate member of the IHF, New Imagerecently hosted its Third International Conference, themed: Moving towards Quality Healthcare for Mother and Child held in Kabul, Afghanistan. Organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the conference was attended by more than 500 international and national healthcare professionals. Sub themes of the conference included surgery, medicine, support of diagnostics, primary healthcare, academics and the status of mother and child related to MDGs in developing countries. The conference served as an international platform where experts from France, Pakistan, Germany and Canada exchanged information and experiences regarding maternal and child healthcare.

The FMIC is a not-for-profit hospital located in Kabul, Afghanistan that aims to provide world-class healthcare and to lead the way to a sustainable healthcare system for Afghanistan. The hospital is run through a public-private partnership between the French and Afghan Governments, the French NGO, L’Espoir/Enfants Afghans, and the Aga Khan Development Network, through the Aga Khan University in Afghanistan.

Dr. Suraya Dalil, the Minister of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, highlighted, in her opening remarks, the importance of the health status of women and children in reflecting a nation’s progress and development, and the important work being done by the FMIC. She described the FMIC as a “role model” for other healthcare institutions in Afghanistan, as it increases the quality of care in Afghanistan while also helping practitioners learn from local and international best practice.  She emphasized the impact that two projects implemented by the Ministry of Public Health and funded by international aid have had on improving the health status of women and children in Afghanistan. The Basic Package of Health Services, funded by the World Bank, USAID and the European Commission in March of 2003, provides primary care services to rural health clinics, while the Essential Package of Hospital Services outlines hospital services that each Afghan hospital should provide.  The continuation of these projects, along with new exchanges of information from the conference can help improve the health status of Afghan women and children even further.

The inclusion of maternal care in the conference exemplified FMIC’s recently established plans to expand services to maternal care through a Women’s wing funded by the Aga Khan Development Network and the French Government. According to the FMIC, the hospital is expected to be complete in early 2015.   The new wing will house 52 beds for obstetric and gynecological care, as well as the first neonatal intensive care unit in Afghanistan, which will have 15 beds.

Not only did the conference foster an exchange of new and innovative techniques in the healthcare of children in Afghanistan, but it also reflected the commitment of the Afghan government towards the “provision of high quality care in the country,” Nurjehan Mawani, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network, explained.

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