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​A recent survey conducted by the Aga Khan University reports that nearly 80 intensive care units (ICUs) across Pakistan were able to obtain beds and ventilators during the pandemic. Despite the efforts, many ICUs continue to face critical shortages of life support equipment's as well as lacks trained healthcare staff. Moreover, with the surge in COVID 19 cases, the personnel and infrastructure capacity of ICUs have become overly stretched.

To address this challenge, AKU, with the support of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dawood Hercules Corporation Ltd has launched a Tele ICU initiative that is aimed at building public sector hospitals' capacity for effective management and treatment of critically ill patients admitted in Highly Dependent Units and ICUs. The project revolves around providing tele-consultation services and also consists of a series of online trainings for HDU/ICU workers for their development.

To provide a vital support system during this difficult time, AKU has established a Tele-ICU hotline that enables doctors all over Pakistan who are treating patients in ICUs and HDUs to receive 24/7 free-of-cost consultations from AKU consultants.

The initiative is being conducted in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, Government of Sindh, KPK and the Health Services Academy on behalf of the Federal Health Ministry.