Dr. Nadia Bibi Sarwar, IYF Regional Director in Asia & Pacific, with the chart shows the progress that has been made by the #CoronaResponseUnit 

After the COVID-19 Outbreak in Pakistan, the supply chain has become a major challenge for the public as well as the government. From food items to medicines, everything is becoming difficult to access due to lockdown.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nadia Bibi Sarwar, IYF Regional Director in Asia & Pacific launched the first coordinated response initiative called #CoronaResponseUnit #ICRU to help facilitating remote access to healthcare services using telehealth technologies in Pakistan, jointly with Sehat Karwan, which is a hub of medical services and InstaCare, a platform that facilitating accessible and affordable healthcare support for everyone via ICT technologies.

When COVID-19 strikes Pakistan, 12 doctors from Instacare and Sehat Karwan volunteered to support national capacities in facing healthcare challenges by enabling easy-access for healthcare services in these hard times. While the teams were closely monitoring the global as well as local stats so it was obvious that Pakistan will have to embrace lockdown in order to save lives, and the baggiest concerns were the capacity of the healthcare infrastructure against the increasing cases.

The team has worked extensively on how to better deliver essential healthcare support to the people at their homes. In addition to the online diagnoses, people can even request a lab test booking with free home sampling services through the platform. The response also includes free delivery of medicines across the country. All of this is been provided at zero-cost for everyone.

The response unit was started initially with 12 members and then expanded all over Pakistan when some amazing doctors, organizations and healthcare workers joined the unit. Doctors from the four provinces volunteered for this humanitarian cause. Organizations such as Insta Care, ElajZone, Khyber Medical University (KMU), Pathodont Clinics and Akram Medical Complex played a vital role to provide relief to the patients anytime anywhere with telemedicine.

“In just ten days after the announcement of #CoronaResponseUnit healthcare support, people started using the services rapidly. The response was massive that we had to call more volunteer doctors and medical representatives. Today ICRU is a hub of 286 staff serving the nation with their best capabilities, following stats explain the progress of our team’s 10 days efforts.” Said InstaCare CEO, Bilal Amjed, one of the key implementing partners of the initiative.

As a result, #CoronaResponseUnit using #Telehealth technologies have +6000 patients during #lockdown across the country through a network of 286 doctors.

It is amazing how young professionals are utilizing information technologies to create a community added value in one of the most critical field, the healthcare. Those young minds who get triaged to find effective solutions in response to COVID-19 are using innovation and digital tools to generate actual solutions to the problem. In this case, we saw that Telehealth is a complex system that consists of a wide variety of technologies and tactics that are used in concert to deliver medical, health, and educational services across a wider geographical footprint than is available under a traditional brick-and-mortar care model.