During the 25 years since Tajikistan’s independence, much has been undertaken to establish a healthcare system based on the concept of family medicine. In the context of this overall reform process the National Health Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan 2010-2020 identifies investments in human resource development as a priority area.
Through the third phase of the Medical Education Reform Project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland aims to strengthen the quality of primary health care thus contributing to an improvement in the health outcomes of the population of the Republic of Tajikistan.
The main activity areas include:
Support for undergraduate education of medical and nursing students, in particular through the promotion of clinical skills and improved learning methodologies. In 2016 the 6th year of medical training was announced to be a practical year, with much work needed to prepare placements and clinical staff to effectively mentor these students. A clinical skills lab has been established for medical students to use at the Tajik State Medical University. The project is also working with the nursing colleges in Dushanbe and Kulob to equip them with clinical skills laboratories as well as to provide training to the nursing tutors to enhance their ability to teach such skills.
Interested medical graduates are encouraged to enroll in a 2 year speciality training in family medicine (Post-University Speciality Training Programme – PUST). In contrast to the training in other specialities the course is highly practical and involves close mentoring of the graduates by experienced family doctors who are consulted by a high volume of patients. .
A sustainable model of continuous medical education for family doctors and nurses is promoted in the form of the peer review groups. The project supports the establishment of groups that meet every 1-2 months, it provides them with evidence-based materials to help structure discussions and builds facilitation technique amongst members.
The project also works on curricula reform and to strengthen the policies that underpin the training and continuous training of family doctors and nurses.
In common with the SDC-funded “Enhancing Primary Health Care Services Project” the rayons that are supported by the Medical Education Reform Project are: Tursunzoda, Shahrinav, Hamadoni, Vose, Rudaki, and Faizobod. In addition, the activities related to the Post University Speciality Training are also focused on Hisor, Gonchi, Pendjikent and Istravshan rayons.