ISLAMABAD: In order to rehabilitate the Afghanistan health sector, Pakistan has decided to train Afghan health professionals in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). Under the programme around 68 health professionals including nurses and paramedic staff will be trained for 03 months in different departments and will return to their home country to serve in the three hospitals being built by Pakistan government in different cities of Afghanistan. In this regard, a ceremony was held under the banner of “Fostering Brotherhood through Human Resource” at Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) auditorium on Tuesday in which medical professionals from Afghanistan participated. In the welcome address Vice Chancellor (VC) SZABMU, Prof Dr. Javed Akram, said that it was the beginning of the relationship with Afghanistan in health department and more steps would be taken to facilitate the medical professionals from the neighbouring country. “In the first batch only male medical professionals have arrived in Pakistan and we expect females also in the second batch training,” he said. The VC said Pakistan and Afghanistan shared common cultural and religious values while this effort will result in positive outcome for health services in Afghanistan. The chief guest of the ceremony, Secretary Health, Ayub Sheikh, said on this occasion that Pakistan was establishing 03 hospitals in Kabul, Jalalabad and Nangarhar where people of Afghanistan would benefit from the facilities. “It is a matter of great satisfaction that the training programme has been launched with the coordination of MNS, Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and SZABMU,” he said. The Secretary Health said that Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences would arrange all facilities for the professionals who have reached here. “There is always a room of improvement however, the Pakistan government will fully support and facilitate the Afghan students in providing health training which will bring improvement in the infrastructure in their country,” he said. Administrator Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Altaf Hussain, in a conversation with Daily Times said that 115 medical professionals from Afghanistan would be trained in Pakistan where they would be given proper medical training and services. Currently 90 per cent of constructions work in hospitals in Afghanistan is completed while, equipment is being purchased now. He said that Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences would train 88 persons while the rest of the 27 would get training in Hayatabad Medical complex Peshawar,” “Among 68 Afghan nationals who have arrived, 18 are doctors while the rest is nurses (male) and paramedics who would be trained for 03 months in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences,” he said. Later a one year master trainers programme would also be launched to provide training to medical professionals in Afghanistan, said Dr Altaf. “Five doctors, nurses and paramedics from each category will be selected on performance basis for masters training programme,” he said. He also stated that these medical professionals would be given training in three steps which will include theory learning, observation of work and finally the work under the supervision of medical trainer. He stated that the accommodation arrangements of the students had been made in the hostel and more improvement would be ensured in the facilities.