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UAJK official praises Germany for supporting healthcare education in AJK

MUZAFFARABAD, January 9: Azad Jammu and Kashmir University has crossed another milestone by launching a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and BS Ventilation and Respiratory Therapy degree programs under its Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

“The University under the visionary leadership of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi has become the first in the state to launch a 4-year degree program in Public Health and BS Ventilation and Respiratory Therapy”, said Dr. Bashir-ur-Rehman Kanth, Associate Dean Faculty of Health and the Medical Sciences University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences was established in 2009 by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir 2010 in collaboration with the German Development Bank, KFW, and the German Government/Department of Health led by Secretary Health in the wake of the devastating earthquake of 2005. Dr. Kanth expressed his profound gratitude to the German government for its generous support and said that the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences would continue to be a symbol of friendship between the people of Germany and Azad Jammu and Kashmir for long time to come.

“We are extremely grateful to the German government, their mission in Pakistan, and the German Development Bank for their generous support to train over 800 students, the majority of them female”, he said.

Dr. Kanth was of the view that an extensive network of modern hospitals and primary health care facilities that AJK got after the 2005 earthquake need trained professionals for effective delivery of health care services and to address the health-related problems in the region.

The faculty of Health and Medical Sciences currently offers a multitude of medical disciplines that included four-year degree program in Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH), BS Anesthesia and Critical Care Sciences, BS Cardio Vascular Technology, BS Clinical Laboratory Sciences, BS Dialysis, and Critical Care Sciences, BS Diagnostic Radiology& Intensive Care Sciences, BS Emergency and Intensive Care Sciences, BS Physiotherapy & Rehab Sciences, BS Surgery & Operation Theater Sciences and BS Optometry & Vision Sciences. Dr. Kanth also expressed the deepest appreciation for Secretary Health Maj. Gen. Ahsan Altaf Satti and his team including Director General Health for their explicit and continuous co-operation/facilitation being provided to the students at CMH and DHQ Hospitals.

Apart from teaching in the faculty, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital and Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences Muzaffarabad have been granted the status of allied teaching hospitals for the practical training of students. The students enrolled in the faculty of health and medical sciences are also sent to Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad for training in modern medical technologies.

The head of Allied Health Sciences pointed out that Pakistan and AJK desperately lack professionally trained allied health staff as currently, only a few public sector universities in the country were offering this kind of critical education.

“The deficiency not only affects the healthcare delivery but also operationalization and maintenance of sophisticated and costly medical equipment donated by international donors for the healthcare facilities after the earthquake”, he said. Dr. Kanth said allied health programs being offered by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are beneficial both short and long term as properly trained graduates in medical technology had bright prospects of grabbing jobs in the country and abroad.

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