Several medical graduates from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP) are now on the front lines of Pakistan’s fight against COVID-19.

Alumni Rafiq Ullah, Naveed Ullah, and Amir Khan, all MNBSP-supported graduates of Khyber Medical University (KMU), are working as nursing and allied medical staff at Hayatabad Medical Complex and Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan.

"Nurses and allied medical staff are important in managing a health crisis because they are a vital link between the patient and the rest of the healthcare team,” said Rafiq Ullah, who is serving as a nurse at Peshawar’s Khyber Medical Teaching Hospital. “They are with their patients for their entire shift, and, through assessment, critical thinking, and close observation, can notice subtle changes in their patients that could indicate the state of their recovery.” 

"Our job is not only to provide medical care, but also to educate and provide a calming touch to our patients. In this difficult time, we find solace in serving our people" says Amir Khan, who is also working as a physiotherapist at Khyber Medical Teaching Hospital.

MNBSP has provided higher education opportunities for talented youth from lower-income families to study in 30 top public and private Pakistani universities across five fields of study, including medicine. The program has contributed to equitable access to higher education for more than 5,300 young Pakistanis, especially for women, and has enabled a significant number of young leaders to play a vital role towards healthcare quality and health access from these investments, improved governance, economic growth, and the social development of Pakistan. 

For more than a half century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security, saving lives all over the planet. The US has led the fight against Ebola, and supported countries battling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases, including leading the fight against COVID-19.

With almost $18 million in new contributions, the United States is collaborating with the Government of Pakistan to help stop the spread of COVID-19 nationwide and care for afflicted people.  All of these contributions were identified as top priority needs by Pakistani authorities, and they are supported  through the generosity of the American people. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $18.4 billion in Pakistan, including $1.1 billion in health assistance. 


Alumni Rafiq Ullah at the Khyber Medical University
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan