Building indigenous institutional capacity is essential for long-term sustainability, good governance and economic development. HPRO is committed to the aim of building capacity both for its own staff and those of the Government of Afghanistan and partner NGOs. HPRO conducts academic teaching and education to the highest possible standard. Our expertise in qualitative, quantitative and laboratory research enables us to conduct both formal and informal training and education in the medical sciences. We conduct technical workshops, provide on-the-job training and provide support to those who wish to study overseas. Sophisticated and quality-assured laboratory support for research is an integral part of infectious disease research. HPRO is one of the few organisations in Afghanistan to be able to conduct advanced laboratory assays for a range of diseases, for example using PCT or serological assays.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Support to NMLCP
 
Project: Support to the National Malaria and Leishmaniasis Control Programme
Donor: In-kind, but through staff supported by LSHTM
Duration: Ongoing since 2002 (before HPRO)
Objectives:

The development of strong national institutions is vital to Afghanistan's development and a key aim of HPRO. Strengthening indigenous capacity for malaria and leishmaniasis control takes place through HPROs support to the National Malaria and Leishmaniasis Control Programme.
HPRO, as part of its mandate to support the Ministry of Public Health, has provided long-term technical support to the NMLCP through a combination of methods since its inception.

Design:

HPRO staff assist in institutional development and reform by:

  • Providing research services that aim to improve policy and practice
  • Providing research services aimed at testing new interventions for improved control of disease
  • Providing assistance in grant-writing
  • Conducting didactic and on-the-job training to NMLCP staff
  • Providing support to NMLCP's NGO partners in order to improve practice and strengthen indigenous capacity.
Findings:

Since before HPRO's inception, staff has been providing support to the NMLCP. In doing so, current HPRO staff have conducted operational research and written (or been involved in writing) the main proposals from the Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM). Through these programmes, more than 2,000,000 insecticide treated nets have been distributed, 150 diagnostic centres established and more than 5000 health workers have been trained. Malaria incidence has fallen by about 80% since 2001.
HPRO continues to support the NMLCP by conducting operational research on key questions, technical training of staff in laboratory and public health science (e.g. epidemiology), laboratory infrastructure and by providing policy advice and analysis.
HPRO is an active participant on the MoPH's primary forum for malaria and leishmaniasis control , the Vector Borne Disease Task Force.

Publication/Links:

MoPH NMLCP reports:
http://moph.gov.af/en/documents?DID=118
Global fund Afghanistan / Malaria portfolio:
http://portfolio.theglobalfund.org/en/Country/Index/AFG

 
 
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TRACDIS
 
Project: Training in Advanced Clinical Laboratory Diagnosis of Infectious Disease (TRACDIS)
Donor: This is study is funded jointly by:
Global Emerging Infection Surveillance (GEIS) via a grant administered by the Henry Jackson Foundation
Development Partnerships for Higher Education (DelPHE), a British Council / Department for International Development initiative via a grant administered by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Duration: November 2010 - May 2011
Objectives:

At the present time, infectious agents of viral, bacterial or parasitological origin remain the predominant cause of illness in Afghanistan. Some of these pathogens are difficult or impossible to diagnose or monitor with traditional methods and require instead the use of complex diagnostic techniques such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assays (ELISA) or culture. The first laboratory capable of performing such techniques in Kabul opened in 2004, but training in these methods was not available in Afghanistan. The TRACDIS program was developed to fill this gap, by providing in-situ comprehensive training in advanced diagnostic techniques for medical and veterinary laboratory technologists.

Design:

The TRACDIS program comprises a nine-month long course in molecular, serological and culture techniques for the surveillance, diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases. The course is divided into three segments; term 1 covers a theoretical and practical introduction to the techniques, followed by a series of practical laboratory rotations in term 2 and finally mini-research projects which are carried out by the students at their home institutions in term 3. The entire program is conducted in Kabul in affiliation with Kabul Medical University.

Findings:

Eight students have graduated from the first TRACDIS program, of which four were from the Central Public Health Laboratory, one from Kabul Medical University, one from the National Malaria and Leishmaniasis Control Program, one from Kabul University Veterinary Faculty and one veterinary technologist who will shortly take up employment at the Central Veterinary laboratory. Due to the success of the program, further funding were secured for an additional TRACDIS 2 training program.

Publication/Links: Presentations from TRACDIS student conference:
An Introduction to advanced diagnostic techniques – Amy Mikhail
A brief history of advanced diagnostics in Afghanistan – Rohullah Zekria
Overview of the TRACDIS program – Amy Mikhail
The challenges of diagnosing brucellosis in animals and humans – Arezo Adeli
Sample preparation for advanced diagnostic tests – Mohammad Harun Sharifi
Fundamentals of the ELISA technique: the rotavirus example – Rahima Sultanzada
Using PCR to monitor insecticide resistance in mosquitoes – Abdul Ali Ahmadi *Runner up
Fundamentals of molecular diagnostics – Ahmad Javed Rahmani
Molecular diagnosis of influenza viruses – Homayoun Mehran
Molecular diagnosis of Hepatitis B virus – Mohammad Kawoos Yaqoubi *Prize winner
Malaria confirmatory diagnosis with PCR – Shams ur Rahman
 
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