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Bringing Healthcare Closer to rural areas in Pakistan via e-Clinics Telemedicine

The urbanization ratio of Pakistan is 37% leaving the rural areas to be more than 70%. The majority of Pakistan is residents in rural areas without the dispensation of clean water, economical viability, proper sanitation, or proper prevention from harmful farming chemicals. These are the few elements out of many that are not addressed or known commonly to be treated, this leads to chronic diseases and contagious harm to all individuals.

The mortality rate in rural areas is; Maternal (140/100k births), Infant (110/100k births), and on average the mortality rate of rural areas (176.0) is greater than urban areas (137.2).

Following are the steps that are taken by Telehealth initiatives to bring health care closer to the rural areas:

1. Awareness about the Diseases:

The foremost plan to eradicate health issues would be to diagnose them. When the infected individual is aware of his/her condition he or she can benefit in taking precautionary measures to treat it.

The basic awareness of the health conditions is a topmost priority at Youth Action Hub Pakistan. They provide awareness, and consultation to the people from rural areas having an online presence or via on-site campaigns. At Youth Action Hub Pakistan the experts confront problems such as poor public literacy and limited medical knowledge.

 2. Schooling the usage of E-clinic:

In this area of telemedicine, Youth Action Hub Pakistan plays a great role in schooling the users on how to use the application/ resource providing electronic health advice, treatments, and consultation. This bridges the gap between not being able to use the resource and easily getting better treatment and living healthy.

3. Accessibility:

Many people in the underprivileged areas of Pakistan cannot easily consult a doctor for any medical emergencies, normal checkups, or infectious diseases. To overcome this problem, Youth Action Hub Pakistan, a UNCTAD, and Idara al Khair partnered up to expand healthcare coverage for rural residents.

They give virtual medical consultations to patients in remote regions and in the comfort of their own homes, using telehealth to provide healthcare services via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. They also set up an e-clinic at a nearby school and held a virtual session to teach teachers how to register patients on the platform and schedule medical appointments.

Teachers were taught how to recognize mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression by a psychologist.

4. Communication Barrier Minimization:

Communication barrier is minimized by getting on board a diverse network of problem-solving community. This diversity in the staff helps in reaching out and communicating to the people from many regions of Pakistan.

Following the two-week course, the teachers were assigned to visit low-income households and collect data on their incomes and common disorders, which was then utilized to develop an e-clinic pricing model.

The team met with 90 households, totaling 540 people, to register them on the platform.

5. 24/7 consultation:

Youth Action Hub Pakistan, a UNCTAD youth network of young change-makers has proven itself to be a robust consultation resource for the ailing life in remote areas of Pakistan. Their current outreach shows that they have 9,000 online healthcare professionals, youth as community staff, e-health clinics, health education drives, multiple online consultations, and 200,000 beneficiaries.