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Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals-UK

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By Dr Khesrow Sangarwal  
The Historic Event of 26th Mar 2011
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The First Management Committee Meeting
Media Office Press Release 19

- The Historic Event of 26th Mar 2011

Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals-UK

Media Office

Press Release 19th April 2011

Contact: aahp.media@gmail.com

Afghan Healthcare Professionals Get-together, 26th March 2011, LONDON

By Dr Khesrow Sangarwal

On 26th March 2011, a large number of Afghan Healthcare Professionals got together in Osterley Park Hotel, London, and laid the foundation of the Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals-UK. The meeting was attended by over fifty healthcare professionals from all range of specialist professions including Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing, Radiography, Physiotherapy and Medicine.

The meeting was opened with verses from the holy Qur’an recited by Dr Wahdati.

 The day consisted of a morning of speeches and presentations by various attending speakers, and an afternoon of law making, administrative work and election. At the beginning of the morning session, the Code of Conduct for the meeting was outlined by Mr Dost Muhammad and a young and bright Afghan girl Ms Summaya. The meeting was chaired by Dr Abdulwahab Ghani and Dr Khesrow Sangarwal.

 The opening speaker was Dr Amanullah Shams, one of the main organisers of the 26th March get-together. In his ten minutes long presentation, Dr Shams spoke about the need for having an organised association of Afghan professionals who work in healthcare sector in the United Kingdom. He explored the potential avenues where Afghan doctors and other healthcare professionals can cooperate and make a difference to their career, and the wider world.

The following speakers were Ms Tamanna Rahimi and Ms Zohal, the prospective doctors who spoke about medical career in the UK. Many found the presentation very useful as a good source of information for Afghan parents and Sixth Form students.

The gathering was also addressed by DR Sakha, a senior Afghan Psychiatrist who advised the Afghan healthcare professionals on the need for unity, and service for their profession and the country. Dr Sakha added: “Afghan doctors should learn from the missed opportunities, and start working for their noble intentions.” Dr Qudratullah, the next speaker described the challenges posed to Afghan doctors from graduation to registration, and the ways to tackle the obstacles in the rout to successful registration in the United Kingdom.

Dr Khalil Wahdati, and Mr Asif Roudwal were the other speakers in the meeting who spoke about postgraduate medical education, and disability in Afghanistan respectively. The closing speech of the morning session was that of Dr Abdul Hameed Latifi who intended to talk about the medical challenges in Afghanistan. The speech took an emotional turn when Dr Latifi started to describe the exceptionally high mortality rates in Afghanistan. Dr Latifi could not resist the high emotions associated with the tragic figures, and could not finish his presentation, which was completed by Dr Shams.

All the attending professionals discussed the need for establishing an effective and transparent association, which will not only coordinate and enhance clinical and academic cooperation among Afghan healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom, it will explore and work in potential underachieving clinical and academic areas in Afghanistan. These discussions took place in formal and informal manner through out the morning session. The consensus was to go ahead with the establishment of such an organisation that can reflect the decent intentions of all Afghan healthcare professionals in the UK.


The afternoon session started with an hour of lunch break and an opportunity of new Lemariz year (Nawrooz) greetings. The participants had to work hard due to shortage of time, and discuss the prospective constitution of the potential association. The participants had to work against the clock, and critique, amend and analyse the constitution, and approve it with a two third majority. Among the approved articles of the constitution was the name of the association, the Association of Afghan Healthcare Professional-UK.

The approved constitution foresees, among other aspects, the structure, finance, administration, and election proceedings of the Organisation.

Following a lengthy discussion and approval of the constitution of the Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals-UK, the rest of the meeting was governed by the articles of the constitution. The constitution required the election of a chairperson, and the managing committee. An independent board of election that consisted of Dr Sakha, Dr Rahim, the medical students Tamana and Zohal volunteered to oversee the proceedings of the election.

The candidates standing for the post of the chairperson were Dr Homayun Shahpesandy, Consultant Psychiatrist, and DR Amanullah Shams, Specialist Registrar in Gastroenterology. The candidates gave a five minutes speech to the general members in order to win their votes. The votes were counted by the Election Board, and Dr Amanullah Shams was announced as the winner of the contest for the post of the chairperson.

 The electing session was completed with the election of the managing committee. The elected committee consisted of Dr Qudratullah, Dr Anna Sharif, Dr Homayun Shahpesandy, Dr Hameed Shuja, Dr Abdul Hameed Latifi, Mr Dost Muhammad, Dr Abdulwahab Ghani and Dr Khesrow Sangarwal.  

 A significant part of the afternoon session was dominated by a heated discussion regarding the importance of unity among the Afghan healthcare professionals in the country. Numerous participants of the meeting, who attended the afternoon session as individuals, challenged the creation of a new association. They described the achievements of other medical groups, and argued against the need for establishment of a new association. While most of the participants of the meeting appreciated the achievements of individuals and groups in serving the healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom, they unanimously voted for the establishment of the Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals-UK. The elected committee vowed to take necessary steps towards the unity of Afghan healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom.

The gathering was closed at 18:30 with the wish of success for the Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals-UK.


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