Department of Emergency Medicine
The Department of Emergency Medicine was established on July 1, 2008 with Dr Junaid Razzak as the first Chair of the new department. In early 2004, the Emergency Room of the Aga Khan University Hospital was incorporated into the Department of Medicine as a section. The move towards an academic entity from a purely service-based unit reflects the growth in the size and importance of Emergency Medicine as a specialty.
Currently, the department has 10 full-time and one non full-time faculty representing both adult and paediatric emergency medicine. In addition to the faculty there are seven residents at different levels of training.
Our mission is to provide high quality and timely care to patients requiring emergency treatment; to offer outstanding educational opportunities for medical, nursing and allied health personnel, and to further medical knowledge through the pursuit of research. We strive to develop an environment that stresses compassion and respect for our patients and each other; that employs the highest ethical standards; that utilises resources in an efficient manner; and that promotes public health.
Improving emergency healthcare and research in Pakistan is a goal which cannot be achieved in isolation. Over the years we have been successful in establishing crucial linkages with academic and health care institutes (local and international), NGOs, government bodies and international organizations such as the WHO.
Johns Hopkins University, USA: The Fogarty JHU-PAK International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program is an NIH, USA funded project for capacity development in Injury and trauma researchers in Pakistan. The collaborative project is a constant source of both financial and technical support for injury research capacity development activities such as workshops, seminars, and conferences. In 2011, we were able to start the Annual Emergency Medicine Conference. The previous grant (2005-2011) has recently been renewed for the next five years till 2016.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden: The DEM faculty has training linkages with the Karolinska Institute. One of the faculties recently completed a fellowship from Karolinska in injury prevention and is now scheduled to commence her PhD in April.
Road Traffic Injury Research Network: The Road Traffic Injuries Research Network is focused on the promotion, conduct and utilization of research in order to reduce the global burden of road traffic injuries, especially in low-middle income countries (LMICs). We hosted RTIRN Secretariat from 2007-2010. During the tenure RTIRN granted scholarships to road traffic injury researchers from around the world and conducted workshops in several low-and middle income countries to enhance their capacity development in road research.
Aman Foundation: This Non Government Organization is based in Karachi and is involved in various social development projects including health care delivery systems. The DEM faculty has been a part of the healthcare component by providing technical expertise for developing the healthcare programs and also by training Aman Foundation personnel to run these programs. Hundreds of EMS care providers in the Aman Foundation ambulance fleet have been trained in ATLS and ACLS. Improvements in health care access have been brought about by using innovative methods such as telehealth and basic emergency care units spread throughout the city. Countless number of people have benefitted from these interventions.
Government bodies: The department faculty serves as technical experts in emergency care and injury prevention in numerous meetings for forums such as the Provincial Disaster Management Authority.
WHO collaborations: The DEM has been collaborating with the WHO even prior to being declared a WHO CC. Department faculty have been involved as technical experts in injury and trauma prevention in various WHO forums including serving as the focal person for injury prevention from Pakistan for the EMRO region.
Interdepartmental linkages at AKU: We have established research collaborations with other departments within AKU such as the Community Health Sciences Department where we have a collaborative MSc EB concentration injury and trauma prevention. Other collaborations exist with the Family medicine, Medicine and Surgery Departments. A cross cutting inter departmental Violence and Injury Research Group (VIRG) was established and hosted by the DEM faculty to promote injury and violence prevention research within AKU.