KARACHI- District and provincial managers of Sindh health department will now be able to enrol themselves in a graduate-level health policy and management programme at the Aga Khan University as a part of an initiative to build their capacity to improve the health delivery system in the province.
An agreement to this effect was signed last week among Aga Khan University, Sindh government and John Snow Inc., under the USAID-supported Health Systems Strengthening component of maternal and child health programme.
Under the accord, 95 senior and mid-level officers will have the opportunity to participate in a master’s in health policy and management programme as well as in graduate-level courses.
The programme, to be offered every weekend, is a blend of theory and practice, and targets working professionals willing to enhance their academic knowledge and leadership skills.
Officials belonging the Health Secretariat, the Director General (Health) Office, district health officers (DHOs) and Sindh Health Development Centre will be eligible to enrol in the courses and it will be for the first time that government managers will be able to study while continuing to work in the health department.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh health secretary Iftikhar Shalwani said: “In public sector we really need to have some qualitative and quantitative changes. The health policy management training by AKU would really help bring this change,” he added.
Dean of Medical College Dr Farhat Abbas was of the opinion that “AKU’s HPM programme is the first in Pakistan to target both health care policy as well as institutional management, a specialized degree focussing on public health systems as opposed to the more generalist master’s in public health offered by most universities.”
Nabeela Ali, Chief of Party, John Snow Inc. added, “On the basis of assessment reports and looking at the capacity gaps very carefully, we supported design of stand-alone graduate courses with AKU.”