On May 26th, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Oslo organized a joint meeting with Oslo Metropolitan University and Kabul Medical University. The purpose of the meeting was the start of long-term collaboration between the Faculty of Health Science, Orthopedics and Orthotics and Kabul Medical University in the area of research on and production of prosthetics in order to meet the needs of disabled persons in Afghanistan.
The significantly high number of disabled persons in Afghanistan is one of the results of the four-decade conflict, which has left millions of civilians maimed and wounded with physical disabilities resulting from landmines, attacks, including IEDs, other explosive devices as well as disease. The proposed initiative for joint collaboration between Kabul Medical University and OsloMet University is aimed at strengthening national programs and capacity of the orthopedic engineering sector for the production of prosthetics and orthotics in Afghanistan. Partnership between OsloMet and Kabul Medical Universities would begin by virtue of the signing of an MOU in the near future between the Afghan Embassy in Oslo, on behalf of Kabul Medical University and Oslo Metropolitan University.
Amb. Ghafoorzai opened the discussion, thanking all participants for their participation on an initiative that was of great importance for Afghanistan, given the high number of disabled persons in Afghanistan, resulting from the 4-decades conflict in Afghanistan. This initiative was aimed at helping further strengthen national capacity in the areas of research and production of prosthetics and orthotics as well as physical therapy. The Embassy looked forward to facilitate the signing of a memorandum of understanding on partnership between the two Universities in the coming weeks.
The Rector of OsloMet University, Dr. Curt Rice, gave an overview of the OsloMet University’s orthopedic program and expressed his readiness and that of his colleagues at the University’s Faculty of Health Science, Orthopedics and Orthotics, to begin a partnership aimed at support Kabul Medical University’s Orthopedic program. Prof. Mona Dahl, Head of Faculty of Health Sciences, at the Department of Occupational Therapy and Orthopaedics Engineering, and colleagues from other departments at OsloMet joined Rector Rice.
Dr. Wahidullah Mohamand, Head of Kabul Medical University, and Mr. Najibullah Amarkhail, Head of Faculty of Orthopedics and Orthotics, spoke about existing programs in the faculty of and which forms of assistance could best meet the needs of students’ needs for the potential joint program. Some of the areas of collaboration would include: online and in-person teaching programs, course creations, and joint research and capacity-building.
In February this year, the Embassy collaborated with OsloMet University for the signing of an MOU between OsloMet and Kabul University for the start of academic cooperation. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been the main international partner, providing requisite support for Afghanistan’s disabled persons with the treatment of over 90,000 men and women since the start of its activities in 1988.