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AKU’s critical role in dealing with global coronavirus pandemic

KARACHI: As the number of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Pakistan increase, the AKU’s response to this global pandemic is critical. The WHO’s aim with the COVID-19 response is to identify, isolate, and care for patients quickly. This has guided The Aga Khan University Hospital’s (AKUH’s) response as well.

These views expressed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AKUH, Shagufta, Dean, Medical College, Dr Adil Haider, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Asim Belgaumi, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Salam Jaffer, ID Expert, Dr Faisal Mehmood, Lab Expert, Dr Zahra Hassan, and Administration, Iqbal Sadruddin, in a recent media briefing.

KARACHI: As the number of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Pakistan increase, the AKU’s response to this global pandemic is critical. The WHO’s aim with the COVID-19 response is to identify, isolate, and care for patients quickly. This has guided The Aga Khan University Hospital’s (AKUH’s) response as well.

These views expressed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AKUH, Shagufta, Dean, Medical College, Dr Adil Haider, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Asim Belgaumi, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Salam Jaffer, ID Expert, Dr Faisal Mehmood, Lab Expert, Dr Zahra Hassan, and Administration, Iqbal Sadruddin, in a recent media briefing.

The COVID-19 screening, testing and treatment protocol followed by the Aga Khan University Hospital is the same protocol that is being followed worldwide. Screening is a technique used in medicine to determine the likelihood of a person having a disease. This includes a set of questions which have been designed as per the guidelines set by WHO and at AKUH Karachi screening for COVID-19 is done at the Community Health Centre (CHC), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

AKUH has collaborations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other leading international partners, universities and hospitals, all of which help us act as a credible source for information and advice for the federal and provincial governments and the National Institute of Health.

“The COVID-19 disease outbreak is no different. When this disease outbreak first surfaced, our experts in Health Sciences, Infectious Diseases, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Clinical Laboratories, among others, went into full-force, supported by our administrative leadership teams, to better understand the virus, epidemiology, patient management protocols and diagnosis.”

“COVID-19 is a new virus and can currently only be reliably diagnosed through a PCR-based technique which requires a swab taken from the nose. Any other technique, such as blood-based antibody testing may provide an indirect measure of exposure to the virus but should not be used in isolation and can provide incorrect results; the PCR based technique is the trusted and recommended standard COVID-19 test by the World Health Organization (WHO).”

“While the country-wide COVID-19 response plans were being worked upon, in January 2020, in an attempt to make the COVID-19 PCR test available in Pakistan, the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi (AKUH, K) Laboratory experts imported certain reagents and equipment, worked on a testing regimen and was able to make a reliable test to diagnose COVID-19.”

-MN Report

March 18, 2020

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