The Great Public Health Achievements: ZAUMS 1978-2018

Report from: Vice Chancelllery for Health, Zahedan University of Medical Sceinces


Geographical and environmental status of Sistan & Balouchetsan Province

The Sistan & Blouchestan Province with an area of 187502 square kilometers, which includes 11 percent of Iran's territory (the largest province of the country), is twice the size of England and six times the size of Belgium. The area covered by Zahedan University of Medical Sciences in 2017 was 76,577 square kilometers. The distance between the most northern point of the province to its most southern point is 1100 km. The Sistan & Balouchestan Province has a common border of 300 km with Afghanistan, and 978 km common border with Pakistan.

Establishment of Zahedan University of Medical Sciences

In 1986, the first medical university was established in Zahedan. Initially, the university was a branch of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, and it was planned to use the facilities in the province, such as the administrative buildings of the provincial health center, the Malaria Eradication Administration, the Higher Education School of Health and then arrangement for the independence and expansion of the field of education were provided.

At this time, this university, due to the specialized capabilities and the Islamic Republic attention to the border areas, has witnessed a speedy growth in process of development and prosperity.


The university can be characterized as a young, dynamic university with international orientation. The aim of the co-operation with foreign partners is to reach compatibility of the structure and forms of study with similar schools abroad.

One of the strategic plans of the university is the participation in international programs.
The most important scientific and technical capabilities of ZAUMS can be noted to different the Specialty and Professional Departments such as Ophthalmology, Heart and Vascular Surgery, Cardiology, Kidney Transplant, Dentistry, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and also Laboratory with Prenatal Thalassemia Testing.

ZAUMS offers 64 disciplines in 6 Schools and its 350 academic members provide educational services to more than 4600 students.


The districts covered by ZAUMS include: Zahedan, Khash, Saravan, Sib & Suran, Mirjaveh, with a total population of 1257606.


Figure1: Sistan and Baluchestan Province and its counties



Figure 2: Köppen-Geiger climate classification map for Iran

Source: Present and future Köppen-Geiger climate classification maps at 1-km resolution". Nature Scientific Data. DOI:10.1038/sdata.2018.214


Figure 3: Iran polulation by province


Figure 4: Zahedan University of Medical Sciences population distribution

Figure 5:  Iran's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution by province



The major public Health Challenges in the province

  1. Underprivileged population: relatively low socio-economic status of the province population (relatively low-income, high illiteracy, malnutrition, ……….)
  2. Climate: Semi arid/ tropical
  3. The long common border with neighboring countries (1580 km) and resulting cross border population movements
  4. At risk of imported emerging & re-emerging diseases (especially dengue fever)
  5. Prone to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly  measles
  6. Route to drug and human trafficking , and smuggling fuel
  7. Prone to natural disasters including floods, earthquakes, typhoons,
  8. Man-made disasters, terrorist attacks

  The most important health achievements in the last 40 years 

1. Implementation of the plan for the provision of primary health care to the rural population since 1983.

2. Implementation of Primary Health Care (PHC) covering 100% of urban population and more than 90% of rural population.

3- Implementation of the network development plan and health promotion since 1988.

4- The implementation of the family physician program and rural insurance plan since 2005.

5. Implementation of health system reform plan since 2014.

6. Implementation of Electronic Health Profile since 2016.

7. Implementation of the DOTS (tuberculosis directly- observed treatment short course).

8. Successful implementation of immunization program for children under 5 years and pregnant mothers with nearly 100% coverage.

9. Increasing the level of health literacy and promoting the healthy behaviors in the community and allowing people access to health information and knowledge.

10. Attracting widespread participation of community and NGOs in health system programs and successful implementation of the "Community Health Volunteers Program" as a symbol of public participation in community health promotion.

11. A warning about deaths from accidents and the implementation of a contingency plan based on a safe society model and reducing the effects of natural disasters

12. Implementing programs for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and genetic diseases.

13. Extensive coverage of prenatal care and a dramatic reduction in maternal mortality (MMR) from 300 per 100,000 live births in year 1978 to 22 per 100,000 live births in 2018.

14. Establishment of 3 University of Medical Sciences in Sistan & Balouchetsan Province.

15-Training more than 2000 Rural Health Workers (Behvarzes) and deploying them in all villages covered and providing Primary Health Care services to the people living in rural areas.

16. Paying serious attention to the environmental health and increasing the access of people to safe drinking water from 3% in 1978 to more than 78% in the year 2018.

17. Implementation of the National Program for the Promotion of Breastfeeding and Adoption of Maternal Protection Act in Lactation.

18. Implementation of the Family Physician Program covering more than 1,400,000 people with the aim of providing equitable health services and providing a fair share of  health services.


A: Socio-demographic status of Sistan & Blouchestan Province

B: ZAUMS Health System Infrastructure

C: ZAUMS Selected Health Indicators


Copyright © 2019 Zahedan University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved. Date Updated: 7/08/2019.
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