Tele-healthcare project launched in AJK to facilitate rural population

MUZAFFARABAD, Sep 20 (APP): A leading digital healthcare platform in collaboration with local health and information technology departments, has launched Tele-medicine project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to connect Basic Health Units (BHUs) with qualified physicians and surgeons in the country and even abroad to provide free consultation to rural poor population, said Dr. Sara Saeed, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization while addressing the opening ceremony here Tuesday which was attended by AJK ministers, secretaries and others.

Dr. Sara, CEO “Seht Kahani” while revealing the successes of such type of initiative in other provinces of the country, reiterated her commitment to facilitate AJK in line with the Sehat Kahani’s organizational mission of enabling access to quality healthcare across the country.

Dr. Iffat Zafar Aga, Co-Founder and COO of Sehat Kahani mentioned that Sehat Kahani has begun from 13 BHUs with hope to scale more than 25 BHUs which would impact more than 100,000 lives within the next 2 years with the support and collaboration of the IT department and other stakeholders. “The purpose of this initiative is mainly to address the concerns arising from inadequate supplies of doctors, and to equate the dis-proportionality between women, children, and elderly patients,” Sara told the participants.
She said through this initiative, 13 existing BHUs and clinical facilities had been already turn into telemedicine facilitation centers in the first three months.

Health Minister AJK Nisar Ansar Abdali congratulated Sehat Kahani for the smooth launch of the program and expressed his optimism that initiative would work as a game changer in the health care sector of the region. He also stated that with the quality healthcare and verified pool of doctors available to practice online, this program would further be extended in the hospitals of AJK to enable access to multiple specialties across Pakistan and the globe

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister AJK for IT and Archeology Mohammad Iqbal stated his vision of solving important challenges of connectivity, availability of office space, provision of resources, and elimination of resistance faced by the IT sector in AJK.
He further reiterated his commitment to create a smart AJK in next 10 years by facilitating technology driven initiatives such as Sehat Kahani and Government of AJK partnership.

Minister for Planning and Development Chaudhry Rasheed renewed his commitment with the vision of the Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas for digitalization of AJK. He also expressed optimism that with digitalization of the health care system in the region will help the government to save lives, time and resources through technology.

Dr. Khalid Rafique, Director General IT Board stated that the IT Board believes in the power of collaboration to bring about digitalization in AJK.

Telemedicine services with the help of Sehat Kahani was one of the steps in that process and will be an example for not only AJK but for the whole country and South Asia as well.

Dr. Bushra Shams, Technical Officer Integrated PHC AJK, World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that WHO was working with Sehat Kahani to launch more clinics in Kotli and out of box solutions such as Sehat Kahani were the need of the hour to provide efficient, affordable, accessible, and quality health care to the people.

She also stressed the need of continuation of the partnership beyond this project where the Department of Health and Sehat Kahani should consider expanding their cooperation on multiple other levels.