With physical access to health facilities in Pakistan severely limited by the country’s rapidly growing number of Covid-19 cases, providing women and girls an alternative way to get reproductive health counseling and information “is the need of the hour,” says Ghulam Shabbir Awan, director of Ipas Pakistan.
A new telehealth initiative is helping meet that need. The project is a joint effort by Ipas Pakistan, provincial departments of health and Sehat Kahani Pakistan, a non-governmental organization working to improve low-income people’s access to quality health care. To date, 22 private- and public-sector health professionals have received three days of online training that has equipped them to provide telehealth consultations with women and girls in need of medical abortion, abortion self-care or post-abortion contraception.
In addition, Ipas-trained lady health workers (LHWs) are reaching out to women and girls to make them aware that telehealth consultations are available and free of charge during the COVID-19 crisis. Seventy-eight lady health workers have been trained on how to access the telehealth services and they, in turn, are helping women and girls access the services by smartphones.
SOURCE: Ipas, 22 July 2020