Alumni Profile: Dr Mohammad Khakerah Rashidi

Dr Mohammad Khakerah Rashidi (MSc Public Health in Developing Countries, 2004) works as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Public Health and National EOC Coordinator for the Polio Eradication Program in Afghanistan. In this blog post, he shares his role and the effects of COVID-19.
Mohammad Khakerah Rashidi

“I decided to study at LSHTM as it is a well-known experienced establishment within Public Health in developing countries, which fit my interests. I keep my connection to the School through alumni, friends and classmates. I learned a great deal from LSHTM and linked with many professionals around the world. Studying at LSHTM complemented my career as I have worked as a senior expert within the Ministry of Public Health and different organisations since graduating.

I have worked as Senior Public Health Management Advisor, Programme Manager, Chief of Party, Country Director and currently Senior Advisor to the Minister of Public Health in Health Systems, COVID-19 and Polio Eradication. In the Afghanistan Government, working days are Saturday to Thursday; only Friday is a day off.

In my role, I have applied around 16 different projects in the country. For example, I led three Tuberculosis Control Programmes supported by USAID:

  1. TB CAP (2008 – 2011)
  2. TB CARE I (2011 – 2015)
  3. Challenge TB (2016 0-m2020)

The project followed six objectives:

  1. An introduction and scale-up of Urban DOTs in the urban setting of Kabul in 2009 and scaled up to nine big cities until 2020
  2. Introduction and scale-up Community Based DOTS in 15/34 provinces
  3. Strengthening the health system as part of the project
  4. Strengthening the M&E system and the introduction of a digitalised reporting system
  5. Introduction and support to MDR patients
  6. Introduction of new technology such as GeneXpert, SLPA machine for diagnosis and treatment

In the future, I hope to successfully lead the Polio Eradication and strengthen my country’s health system.

COVID-19 has hugely affected my work, there were lots of limitations. During the first wave of COVID, the government applied general quarantine all over the country. Schools, universities and markets were closed, there was limited movement for the period of March - July 2020. Therefore, we could not apply Polio campaigns.”

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