Aga Khan University Hospital and Roche Diagnostics expand their partnership to extend access to innovative and quality testing across Pakistan!

Whether it is infectious diseases or chronic health conditions, a large part of the value of diagnostics information lies in prevention, early detection and management. In vitro diagnostic (IVD) testing provides critical information from prognosis and screening to disease progression and treatment pathways, enabling healthcare providers to make the best decisions on expected courses of action — with minimized uncertainty.

For example, early and accurate diagnosis can help identify changes in the body even before the disease occurs,1 buying clinicians time to make optimal treatment choices for patients. Ongoing patient monitoring helps physicians measure treatment effectiveness, potentially preventing or slowing disease progression.

As a developing country with 3% of its GDP allocated for total health expenditures,2 Pakistan faces many hurdles to maintain a proper healthcare system with effective and efficient testing and treatment capabilities. These challenges were exacerbated by the pandemic. The fact is, laboratory investigations are essential – not just for Covid-19 – but also for monitoring, ruling in/out other concomitant infections and diseases.

However, while diagnostics is critical to stemming the economic and societal costs of illnesses, access to quality testing remains a challenge. Although the government has invested to provide primary health centers within reasonable reach of most of the population, Pakistan still ranks 154 among 195 countries in terms of accessibility and quality of healthcare.

The need of the hour is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our healthcare system so that we can deal with a larger patient load, increase testing capabilities, and have the resources to treat patients accordingly. In this regard, the Aga Khan University Hospital has partnered with Roche Diagnostics and Sysmex to improve patient access to quality diagnostics and enhance testing capacity across Pakistan.

As part of this partnership, an agreement has been signed to install a new fully Automated Laboratory system in the Main Lab and 14 outreach centers of the Aga Khan University Hospital across Pakistan.

Connected with Roche’s cobas IT infinity solutions, these latest, state-of-the art high throughput automated systems are designed to give laboratories full and transparent control over their operational processes, whether at single or multi-site operations.

Through this strategic collaboration between the Aga Khan University Hospital, Roche Diagnostics, and Sysmex, AKUH will be able to cater to the needs and enhance the capacity of its labs, not just in the main cities, but also in the remote areas of the country.

This agreement builds on Aga Khan University Hospital’s historic collaboration with Roche Diagnostics Pakistan. It also marks a significant milestone in evolving laboratory diagnostic workflows by increasing automation and minimizing operation intervention in clinical laboratories to reduce errors, improve efficiency and enable faster test results to the patients.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Sulaiman Shahabuddin, President AKU, congratulated and lauded the efforts of all the teams involved in achieving this milestone agreement. “All of us are playing an integral part in shaping the national health system,” said Dr. Shahabuddin, adding that cross-collaboration between different stakeholders is key in scaling up and reshaping lives through the provision of quality healthcare.

Welcoming this new partnership with Roche Diagnostics and Sysmex, Shagufta Hassan, CFO and VP of Finance, AKU, expressed her gratitude and thanked all the stakeholders involved for all their hard work. Highlighting the high-quality standards of the Aga Khan University Hospital and its Outreach Health Network, she said, “AKU is Pakistan’s first academic medical centre to receive the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) and College of American Pathologists CAP accreditation. I am thankful to our teams working on the front lines, and providing access to quality healthcare to millions across Pakistan.”

Recognizing the immense contribution of AKUH towards setting high quality standards of healthcare excellence, Abdul Qayyum, Country Manager, Roche Diagnostics Pakistan said, “Expanding access to health services is an important step towards reducing health disparities. I must commend AKUH for their unwavering commitment to improve healthcare delivery where it truly matters most. I am proud of our long association with AKUH and look forward to jointly expanding testing capabilities beyond main cities to reach more patients across Pakistan. Together, we are truly embodying our shared vision of shaping healthcare and improving patient lives.”

“Healthcare excellence works with partners to spread innovations and build capability so that everyone has safe and high-quality health care. Together we are spreading innovations that equitably deliver care where people live and when they need it.” shared Rizwan Feroz, Director S. Ejazuddin & Co., official distributors of Sysmex in Pakistan.

This momentous partnership will go a long way in strengthening diagnostic capacity, increasing patient access to high quality laboratory tests and supporting faster, more cost-effective treatment outcomes to improve patient care across Pakistan.

References:
1American Cancer Society. Cervical Cancer Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/CRC/PDF/Public/8601.00.pdf
2World Bank Data. Retrieved on: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.CHEX.GD.ZS?locations=PK
3The Lancet Journal. Retrieved from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30994-2/fulltext#seccestile19

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