ADPC organized a meeting with Agha Khan University (AKU), Pakistan on Hospital Preparedness for Emergencies (HOPE) on 31 August 2021 under the Strengthening Institutionalization of Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER Stage 5). The meeting was attended by members of AKU led by Dr. Sameen Siddique, Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences, AKU, and ADPC program team from Pakistan and Thailand.
The meeting aimed at introducing the work of the PEER Program specifically on Hospital Preparedness for Emergencies (HOPE) and explore a partnership with AKU as one of the premier academic institutions in Pakistan. This initiative is part of integrating HOPE in institutional strategies and programs to strengthen institutionalization and program sustainability in the country.
ADPC presented an overview of the PEER program with special emphasis on what has HOPE achieved over the years in Pakistan. Mr. Frederick John Abo, Chief of Party, PEER highlighted the objectives of PEER Stage 5, which focused on promoting institutionalization and integration of the program in countries’ training and academic institutes. This includes working with academic institutions, and professional associations, and fraternities to secure accreditation and certification of HOPE. The discussion also touched upon the objectives and outcome of the HOPE institutionalization workshop held in Islamabad on 7 July 2021 which highlighted the key recommendations in promoting the institutionalization of HOPE below:
• Formulation of National Guideline to include hospital preparedness, exercise guideline, and surge capacity for hospitals. Formulation of these guidelines should be supported by the PEER program.
• Engagement of Provincial and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Health Regulatory Authorities to ensure the development of disaster management plans by each hospital and inclusion of HOPE standards in the hospital checklist and its implementation.
• Regular simulation drills and collating of logs by each hospital must be ensured by the health regulatory authorities and evaluation should be supported by PEER.
• Advocacy with the Ministry of Finance through NDMA for allocation of budget for hospital preparedness, HOPE training, and simulation drills by the hospitals.
• Business sector including pharmaceutical companies should be mobilized to acquire support for the preparedness of hospitals.
• Approach local bodies like the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) and College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and motivate them through sensitization dialogues for accreditation of HOPE in post-graduate/ under-graduate courses.
Dr. Sameen Siddique is pleased to develop a partnership with ADPC and expressed his support in promoting the work on hospital preparedness in Pakistan. He highlighted important steps to ensure that the training program addresses the specific needs of hospitals in the country. A training needs assessment will provide critical information to meet the specific capacity needs of hospital managers on preparedness using key preparedness benchmarks. This will lead to having a tailored course curriculum design and the development of appropriate training materials to deliver the course.
He also laid emphasis on the quality of work and offered AKU assistance in monitoring and evaluation of the HOPE course. He further suggested developing a Terms of Reference (TOR) to clarify the roles and responsibilities for initiating the collaboration.
To pave a way forward, the discussion ended with the following key action points:
- Signing of an MoU between the AKU and ADPC to enhance collaboration in hospital preparedness.
- Finalizing TOR to specify roles and responsibilities for cooperation in the field of hospital preparedness.
- Nomination of AKU in the PEER Regional Technical Working Group (RTWG) on Safe Hospitals.