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GIST Alum Advocates for Women and Health Care in Pakistan During TEDx Talk

February 01, 2019

 

Pakistan struggles with inequality, particularly when it comes to the treatment of women and their health. In fact, on the Gender Gap Index Pakistan ranks second to last, which means women not only have limited economic opportunities but they also lack adequate access to health care.

The gender gap also impacts who is practicing medicine in Pakistan. According to GIST Alum Dr. Iffat Zafar, 63 percent of doctors in Pakistan are women but only 23 percent are actually practicing medicine. In raw numbers, Iffat said this means more than 46,000 women who are trained doctors never practice medicine.

But there is a high-tech solution to this problem that closes the gender gap and improves health care.

During her TEDx Talk at Ziauddin Medical Univeristy, Iffat explained how her startup, Sehat Kahani, is bridging the gap between female doctors in Pakistan and communities with inadequate access to health care. Sehat Kahani creates E-Health clinics around Pakistan that virtually connect women doctors who are constrained to stay home with patients who do not have access to health care. The clinics include a team of nurses who assist in treatment and help carry out the doctors’ orders.

The program is working, improving health care to more than 50 communities in Pakistan. These are communities, Iffat explained, that have between 15,000  and 20,000 residents. And Sehat Kahani has no intention of slowing down. Iffat said the 10 year plan for her company is to open more than 500 E-Health clinics and provide health care to more than 25 million people in Pakistan.

You can watch her full TEDx Talk below.