During their stay in Pakistan, the team members of our research consortium had the opportunity to meet the major key stakeholders from the project at the stakeholder meeting that took place in Bhurban on November 20th. On the occasion, Khyber Medical University (KMU) and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Social Health Protection Initiative (SHPI) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province to enable the conduct of the research study. As presented here, the study will provide scientific evidence for the implementation of the SHPI and the extension of the SHPI to outpatient care services (OPD) in four pilot districts of the province.
The MoU signing ceremony constituted the highlight of the stakeholder workshop. On behalf of the three partner institutions, Prof Zia Ul Haq and Dr Zohaib Khan (both KMU), Dr Riaz Tanoli and Dr Saeeda Bibi (both SHPI-KP), and Prof Dr. Landmann (FAU) signed the document.
Speaking on the occasion, the guest of honor Dr. Farooq Jamil, Special Secretary Health to the Government of KP, said that the provincial government is committed to providing high-quality healthcare to the people of the province, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of universal health coverage. He appreciated the proposed scope of work by the research consortium and highlighted that the presence of the local partner KMU would help develop local capacity and ensure a smooth conduct of field activities.
The Vice-Chancellor of KMU, Prof. Zia Ul Haq, underlined the role of KMU in local evidence generation, especially now that the university is part of a wider evidence generating hub of the WHO in the region. He ensured all partners that KMU, as the focal point of research for the Health Department of KP, would put in its maximum efforts for the successful conduct of the project.
Dr. Riaz Tanoli, CEO of the SHPI, talked about the tremendous success of the SHPI, resulting from the government’s support. He reiterated that the program would be keenly observing the findings of the research studies by the consortium and is committed to extending all out support to the project.
The principal investigator Prof. Dr. Andreas Landmann (FAU), who already has a decade-long involvement with the various social health protection programs in Pakistan, emphasized that the consortium would bring all its experience and technical know-how to generate evidence with the aim of informing and facilitating the SHPI program in making data-driven decisions. He also said that the consortium would look into tracking the changes in health delivery induced by the OPD scheme for all the involved parties, most importantly on the people of four pilot districts.
Read the press releases in Pakistan here: