Saving Lives On-line in Pakistan

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A doctor at Holy Household Hospital consults with sick rural Pakistani kids like Fauzia from a distant location because of a USAID-supported telemedicine mission that may be duplicated throughout the nation.
A USAID-Supported “Telemedicine” Program Supplies Digital Entry to Specialised Healthcare for Hundreds of Rural Pakistanis
“This know-how lets us attain out to the folks beforehand with out entry to an peculiar physician, a lot much less a hospital specialist. It represents an amazing enchancment of their high quality of life,” mentioned Dr. Asif Zafar Malik.

Occasional sickness is a pure a part of rising up, however nine-yearold Fauzia was depressing most the entire time. Recurring ear and throat ache led her anxious dad and mom to take the lady to a close-by well being clinic in Attock, a district capital in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Throughout the session, a specialist identified an acute case of tonsillitis, and scheduled surgical procedure to take away her tonsils at Holy Household Hospital in Rawalpindi, about 50 miles away from the clinic. Following the profitable operation, Fauzia went again to the clinic for follow-up appointments, and was quickly joyful and wholesome once more.

What made Fauzia’s therapy distinctive was that her analysis and post-surgery consultations all happened utilizing the brand new strategy of telemedicine. By means of an internet laptop, she was capable of obtain care from a hospital specialist actually miles away utilizing know-how so superior that her physician may diagnose her situation inside minutes.

With USAID assist, Holy Household Hospital is pioneering telemedicine – healthcare companies by data and communications applied sciences resembling videoconferencing. Holy Household serves as a hub the place specialists from the hospital seek the advice of in actual time with sufferers who go to one in every of eight established telemedicine websites in rural clinics in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

“This mission laid the muse for a nationwide telemedicine community in Pakistan,” mentioned Dr. Asif Zafar Malik, Holy Household’s mission director for telemedicine. “Our collaboration with USAID led to new applications at each federal and provincial ranges. We had the imaginative and prescient, however the pilot mission actually helped us display to sufferers and coverage makers alike that that is the best way to go.”

Telemedicine carries monumental promise in a rustic the place the ratio of sufferers to docs is a excessive 1,400-to-1, and the fee and diffi culty of journey to and from well being clinics is difficult for rural Pakistanis.

Holy Household employees now shares its expertise of getting carried out greater than 2,000 telemedicine consultations with medical personnel nationwide by programs in e-health and different functions of telemedicine, which have educated greater than 100 docs and nurses who’ve gone on to arrange further telemedicine facilities at different hospitals.

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