UpToDate is an online based medical knowledge source. It contains information about 9000+ topics and the topic range is very broad including 20 medical specialties. This service is provided by Wolters Kluwer Health division.
We believe that UpToDate is an excellent source for good quality, up to date and evidence based knowledge. In the Netherlands, all the academic university’s and their affiliated hospitals have access to UpToDate. Furthermore 158 countries, including 90% of academic medical centers in the United States, use UpToDate. From our own experience, as medical students and doctors, we have also found UpToDate as a very useful tool to gain knowledge. Therefore, we would like to put effort in the realization of access to this source at Kabul Medical University (KMU). KMU is the largest academic medical University in Afghanistan.
MCAN works on a demand driven principle. A careful inventory at KMU was made to be sure that this project is indeed needed and appreciated in Kabul. Two board members of MCAN evaluated the necessity and applicability during separate visits in 2013 to KMU. This inventory confirmed our idea that there is certainly a need for UpToDate at KMU. There is sufficient amount of equipment at KMU to realize this project (computers and internet access). A letter written by the president of KMU, directed to MCAN was received. In this letter KMU requests our help to gain access to UpToDate.
After several talks MCAN managed to get an offer with significant discount for KMU. An offer/contract for 3 years with a discount of 2/3 was realized. Unfortunately, Wolters Kluwer Health is unable to provide a free access. Nevertheless, MCAN is delighted with this substantial discount.
Evaluation and the vision of the future
In 2016 and 2018 a number of MCAN members traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan to introduce this project and facilitate the access for the medical students and staff at KMU and Aliabad Teaching Hospital. The number of users is increasing every year, which motivates us as MCAN to do our best to find sponsors to fund this project for many years. Our future aim is to see UpToDate being a curricular part of medicine study in all universities in Afghanistan.