Pakistani Entrepreneur Uses E-Health to Change Rural Lives
Young trailblazer Muhammad Sarim Raza is using technology to deliver healthcare services to medically underserved communities in Pakistan.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting a doctor in rural Pakistan was an expense few could afford.
Almost 70% of the Pakistani population lives in underserved rural areas, where healthcare services are hindered by the lack of medical personnel, sparse facilities, and the high cost of treatments.
Things worsened in the wake of the COVID-19, which disrupted supply chains and interrupted the delivery of vital medicines.
Reimagining health care
As the country fights the pandemic, Muhammad Sarim Raza (24) is using technology to reimagine how health care is delivered to the most vulnerable people in Pakistan.
He’s the founder of Riayat, a social enterprise. He also coordinates the Youth Action Hub Pakistan, an UNCTAD youth network of young change makers running innovative programmes to improve the lives of local people.
Mr. Raza has partnered with an all-female digital startup, Sehat Kahani (“health story” in the Urdu language) and Idara al Khair, a local nonprofit organization, to improve health-care coverage for rural dwellers.
They are using telehealth – the provision of health-care services via electronic information and telecommunication technologies – to offer virtual medical consultations to patients in remote locations, and in the comfort of their homes.
“Many people can’t afford to physically go to a doctor. Our e-health initiative makes consultations affordable and available to low-income communities,” Mr. Raza said.
Photo courtesy of IMF Photo/Saiyna Bashir.