COMSATS and COMSTECH have agreed to work together to initiate a regional Telehealth program to benefit their member states, especially in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. COMSATS’ team held discussions in this regard with the Coordinator General COMSTECH, Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, in his office. COMSATS was represented by Dr. Azeema Fareed, Principal Medical Officer and Coordinator of COMSATS Telehealth Program, Mr. Nisar Ahmed, Deputy Director Systems and Mr. Irfan Hayee, Deputy Director Programs. Senior officials of COMSTECH attending the meeting were Mr. Abdul Haseeb, Director (Coordination), Mr. Haris Akram, Program Manager, and Ms. Khazima Muazim, Program Manager.
During the meeting, Dr. Iqbal expressed the willingness to collaborate with COMSATS in order to pass on the benefits of telehealth to common member states of the two organizations, with a special focus on African countries. He noted that COMSTECH’s parent body, the OIC, is willing to support collaboration in the field of telehealth.
COMSATS’ delegation briefed Dr. Choudhary and his team about COMSATS Telehealth (CTH) program, which highlighted programmatic and technical aspects of telehealth. The ensuing discussion revolved around scale and scope of program activities under telehealth; infrastructure and technical gadgetry required; as well as operational and service delivery mechanism models. As a result of these discussions, COMSTECH officials expressed interest in physically visiting COMSATS Telehealth Centre to learn and understand how COMSATS Telehealth is being run.
In view of the discussions and potential avenues of collaboration, the Coordinator General COMSTECH invited a concept note on telehealth from COMSATS in order to seek patronage of OIC. The OIC has long-standing relations with governments of common member states of COMSTECH and COMSATS in Africa.
It was agreed by officials of the two organizations that the potential collaboration in the field of telehealth will focus on: creating more awareness on telehealth and its benefits, central trainings and regional workshop, exchange of experts, in addition to establishing telehealth nodes with suitable technical facilities.