ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (1 July 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Health Services Academy of Pakistan today signed a contract agreement to strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and to support frontline health workers by providing a national rapid critical care trainings program. 

The Vice Chancellor of the Health Services Academy Dr. Assad Hafeez and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the contract agreement in Islamabad. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a major health care challenge to the people and the Government of Pakistan. The training program being led by the Health Services Academy will help boost the critical care system’s efficiency and the capacity of the health workers in responding to the current emergency situation and future critical care needs,” said Ms. Yang. 

The training program envisages the rapid capacity development of 4,500 doctors and paramedical staff in critical care management and handling of COVID-19 patients in the country’s hospitals and health care centers.

The basic assessment and support in intensive care program is based on a course outline developed in 2004 in response to SARS by the University of Hong Kong and has been updated in response to COVID-19 outbreak. The 10-day course involves 8 days for pretest, distance learning through course material available via course book, presentation modules, video tutorials, and other online reference materials. The remaining two days are dedicated to physical training at health facilities and an online post course test with certification.

Frontline health care professionals including medical officers, specialists, postgraduate trainees, nurses, and paramedics working in different capacities in intensive care units will be invited to join the program. The training will be delivered in 150 batches with each batch comprising 30 participants. 

Jointly funded by ADB and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the initiative also aims to set up a 24/7 telemedicine support system to enable follow up and critical care supervision for the trainees. The assistance is being provided under the technical assistance project, “Capacity Building of Disaster Management Institutions,” which is cofinanced by nearly $1 million from SDC.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Media Contact