An Afghan doctor has qualified to carry out open heart surgery on his own in a first for the war-ravaged country, his hospital said Wednesday.
Hashmatullah Nawabi received training from French surgeons at the French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul and has been judged capable of conducting the complicated operations alone, the hospital chief said.
"Nawabi is the first Afghan doctor who can carry out open heart surgery in Afghanistan," institute general director Azizi Ahmad Jan told reporters.
To mark the occasion, reporters witnessed the surgeon, who was also trained in the Soviet Union and has worked in Germany, conduct a relatively simple closed heart operation at the institute on Wednesday.
Afghanistan's first open heart surgery operation was carried out in 2006 by French surgeons. The country had previously not had the technology for such surgery, Nawabi said.
The French hospital has conducted more than 270 open and closed heart operations since its establishment in 2006, said Babatasi Gerard, one of the surgeons who trained Nawabi.