Kabul, Monday, December 17, 2020: The French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) held its 10th Annual International Scientific Conference and Quality Convention marking a decade of constant efforts to nurture the culture of scientific inquiry and evidence based knowledge creation in healthcare. The conference was a unique event bringing together medical practitioners, researchers and intellectuals from Afghanistan and other parts of the world. The conference theme was “Universal Health: Accessibility, Quality and Research in the Era of COVID-19 Pandemic”. In the conference, 32 oral presentations and 38 poster presentations were made by healthcare professionals and researchers on-site and virtually.
After recitation of the Holy Quran, and the national anthem; Mr. Lee Hilling, Chairman FMIC Board presented his opening remarks. He said that FMIC has reached yet another milestone by completing a decade of constant journey while nurturing the culture of evidence based inquiry and critical thinking. He welcomed all the guests and presenters onboard and thanked them for making the conference a reality despite many hindrances. He also admired the strenuous efforts of the FMIC team to organize the conference.
Dr Abdullah Fahim, Senior Advisor to the Mister of Public Health read a message on behalf of HE Dr. Ahmad Jawad Osmani, Minister of Public Health, Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The message termed the conference a historic event for many reasons but two of those are distinct. First, it is a decade of constant efforts and collaborative work by FMIC and its partners to promote the culture of scientific research and intellectual inquiry in healthcare. Second, this event displays our strength and resolve to combat the devastating and unprecedented Covid-19 which has shattered economies and health systems across the globe. The honourable Minister in his message also appreciated the fact that the theme of this conference covers Covid-19 which demonstrates the relevance and timeliness of our intellectual endeavours.
His Excellency David Martinon, Ambassador of France to Afghanistan; in his live speech, congratulated the FMIC management for organizing the conference despite several challenges. He assured that the government of France will continue its support to the people of Afghanistan through different projects including FMIC of which the government of France is one of the partners.
Ambassador Sheherazade Hirji, AKDN Diplomatic Representative to Afghanistan in her live address reaffirmed the continuous support of AKDN to Afghanistan. She highlighted the role of AKDN in reconstruction and development of Afghanistan for more than two decades through its various agencies combining economic, social and cultural inputs. She further added that in an effort to contribute to the reconstruction of organizational and institutional capacities in the Afghan health sector, FMIC has provided specialized tertiary care services for children, mothers, and adults for nearly 14 years.
Mr. Eric CHEYSSON, President of La Chaine de L’Espoir (LCDE) and Board Member FMIC in his video message congratulated FMIC team for organizing the conference despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He further added that the support of LCDE and Government of France will always remain with FMIC and the people of Afghanistan.
Professor Dr. Adil Haider, Dean Medical College, AKU- Karachi in his keynote speech highlighted the importance of promoting the research culture in healthcare specially in the context of Afghanistan. He appreciated FMIC team and the medical fraternity for its continued efforts in creating grounds for evidence based practice in Afghanistan. He added that AKU as a partner of FMIC will continue supporting this exciting journey. Dr Haider also shared the experience of AKU in handling the Covid-19 pandemic while benefiting from the extraordinary capacity of people around.
Mr Tawab Baryali, Chairman Scientific Committee of the conference shared and introduction to the conference and the sequence of program activities. In the conference, 32 oral presentations were made on a wide range of topics such as COVID-19, quality and patient safety, nursing and midwifery, non-communicable diseases, nutrition, and so on. Poster presentations were also on display and the conference attendees visited the presentation booths with keen interest. The conference proceedings were also shared live through the FMIC Facebook page viewed by more than 1500 users.
At the end of the conference, Mr. Aziz Ahmad Jan, Chief Executive Officer, FMIC said that FMIC is proud to complete a decade of organizing yearly conferences which speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment of the team. He also mentioned that FMIC will be celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2021 which will be yet another landmark for this institution which has risen to many devastating and daunting challenges over the years. Mr Aziz Jan thanked all the individuals who made contribution towards the success of the conference.
French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) is a non-governmental tertiary teaching hospital established in 2006 as the product of a unique four-way partnership between the Governments of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOIRA) and France (GoF), and two private, international development organizations – La Chaine de l’Espoir (CDE) and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) through the Aga Khan University (AKU). FMIC started its operations in a volatile situation when security condition was deteriorating and accessing a modest tertiary healthcare facility was a tall order for the Afghans. There was a serious lack of human resources in various specialties hence the Afghans highly depended upon medical tourism abroad. In such circumstances, the presence of FMIC was no less than a miracle. For the last 14 years, FMIC has been catering to the healthcare needs of Afghanistan with a vibrant vision, “to be a leading institute of excellence and innovation in healthcare, research, and education, providing exemplary, safe, comprehensive, accessible and sustainable services to Afghanistan and surrounding regions, while positively impacting the lives of patients and all others Whom it serves”.