Aga Khan University has partnered with Pakistan’s health ministry to offer a range of trainings, tele-consultations, and assessment of ICU facilities across the country aimed at supporting treatment for hospitalised, ill COVID-19 patients.
The initiative between the University and the Health Services Academy, a public sector health institute, working under the umbrella of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, was launched today.
“Our priority is to bolster the healthcare system’s capacity to deal with hospitalised patients,” said Dr Zafar Mirza, Minister of State for Health. “This partnership will contribute to the national effort to improve recoveries and save lives.”
The agreement will see the University offer training to doctors, nurses and paramedical staff across Pakistan on the care for COVID-19 patients.
Healthcare workers taking care of hospitalised, ill COVID-19 patients can also access support through teleconsultations. Given the complexity of care, the University has developed a simple, cost-free platform that connects healthcare workers with experts within minutes.
The agreement will also see the University support the federal government’s countrywide ‘We Care’ initiative to train 50,000 healthcare workers on the proper use of personal protective equipment. AKU is the Sindh lead for the project and master trainers from AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and Medical College will complete the training of 10,000 healthcare workers across the province over the next few weeks.
“We are proud to partner with AKU for the training of healthcare workers. We must do everything to protect and safeguard our health workforce without whom we cannot possibly tackle the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Health Services Academy Vice Chancellor Dr Assad Hafeez.
Under the initiative, AKU will also conduct an assessment of the capacity of intensive care units across the country’s nine provincial and 150 national hospitals. The study will lead to the development of a checklist and recommendations on how to improve utilisation of Pakistan’s critical care capacity.
“We are so honoured and ready to support national efforts taken by the Government of Pakistan to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the country,” said Medical College Dean Dr Adil Haider. “Through our teleconsultation service, knowledge and capacity building trainings we will work together as one to save lives.”
This initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Doctors who are treating hospitalised, ill COVID patients and need consultation with a COVID treatment expert or a critical care expert, can call the COVID Tele-ICU Hotline for Physicians at +92 21 3486 2100.