On Monday 19 September, His Excellency Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, Public Health Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and Stephanie Simmonds, Senior Advisor and Mentor to the Minister and former Senior Health Advisor at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), visited the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
They met with Professor Dame Anne Mills, the School’s Deputy Director and Provost, Karl Blanchet, Director of the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre and Adrianna Murphy of the Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases. He explained how the Ministry of Health is seeking public health expertise to build the capacities of his teams not only in terms of research but also in terms surveillance systems, health information systems, disease control priority and non-communicable diseases. The LSHTM team described the range of teaching, training and capacity building activities implemented in other countries, and how such models might be applied in Afghanistan.
Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz studied medicine at Kabul University, and worked in Baghlan province and then as the Public Health Director of Kapisa province. In 2002, he joined the Afghan Ministry of Public Health as the Deputy Minister, Policy and Planning. Here, he was instrumental in laying sound foundations for Afghanistan’s current health system, contributing to the improvement of the coverage of health services throughout the country.
From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Feroz worked as a consultant for the World Bank, USAID, and DFID, and founded an NGO, the Governance Institute – Afghanistan, that has successfully undertaken a number of operational research studies and other work. He also worked on various aspects of health system reform in other countries including in India and South Sudan.
In 2008 he completed an MSc Health Systems Management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, followed by a MBA from the International Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur. In February 2015, Dr. Feroz was made Minister of Public Health in the National Unity Government. He has initiated a number of reforms and good governance, to help improve the health of the people of Afghanistan.
Dr Feroz told us: ‘A highlight of my term so far as Minister of Health was to visit the School, one of the worlds’ most prestigious post graduate universities of which I am a proud alumnus. As a distance learning graduate it was really exciting to finally visit the School. I very much appreciated and enjoyed the round table discussion with Professor Dame Anne Mills and other LSHTM staff members. We covered issues of concern in the health sector in my country and also and how we could benefit from the wealth of research and teaching expertise at the School. I look forwards to future collaboration.’