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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 3 (2007 Deadline)

Capacity Building of Lady Health Workers in Rural Mardan, KPK, Through the Use of ICT-Based Telemedicine
Rizwan Naeem, Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America, Westmont, IL
Arshad Ali, National University of Sciences and Technology, Rawalpindi
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $ 111,000
US Funding (State):   $  38,325

Project Dates on US Side: July 1, 2008 - January 31, 2012

Project Overview

This project aims to utilize voice, short text messaging (SMS), and multimedia messaging (MMS) over mobile phones to quickly and efficiently extend medical advice to lady health workers (LHW) in the field by connecting them to a network of US-based medical specialists of Pakistani origin. The primary partners on this project are working with the University of Mardan Healthcare Medical Facility in the village of Zahidabad, in Mardan District of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province. Three medical doctors, two research assistants, and one network administrator have been hired on the Pakistani side, and despite funding problems on the Pakistani side, the project achieved substantial results, providing treatment to nearly 95,000 patients as of September 2010, as well as presenting free medical camps and training sessions to assist residents in rural communities.

Major Results

  • Presented free medical camps and training sessions to assist residents in rural communities
  • Presented a one-day training course on basic life support skills for 24 healthcare workers in rural Mardan District
  • Established an electronic medical records management system at the Zahidabad clinic
  • Partnered with NGOs that provided medical care to nearly 95,000 patients in 2008-2010

Quarterly Update

The final stage of the project involved sending two Pakistani doctors to the United States for training. Dr. Mubasher Rana (APPNA treasurer) and Dr. Naeem initially expected to receive them in the first quarter of 2011. It seemed that everything was on track for the visit, as the visitors reportedly had their visas and plans were in place for their training at the George Washington University Hospital. However, the visitors left their jobs, and their facility was unwilling to designate replacement trainees due being severely understaffed. Plans are now in process to send two Pakistani staff members on the project to attend a telemedicine conference in December 2011 and to send Dr. Naeem to Pakistan to participate in a medical service camp, during which he will also provide training to Pakistani physicians.

Progress Report Summaries

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