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Ferozsons and Health Net Pakistan collaborate to tackle Diabetes

Ferozsons has collaborated with Health Net Pakistan to provide an innovative Diabetes management and training Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme for the primary care healthcare professionals. Health Net Pakistan is responsible for running Project ECHO with international affiliation and has trained a number of physicians across Pakistan in liver diseases management already. HealthNet Pakistan is implementing Project ECHO in Pakistan for Hepatitis and Liver care. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a collaborative model of medical education and care management that empowers clinicians everywhere to provide better care to more people, right where they live. Project ECHO transforms the way education and knowledge are delivered to reach more people in rural and underserved communities

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing metabolic disorders in Pakistan and carries one of the biggest burden of diseases in the country. A recently conducted Diabetes Prevalence Survey of Pakistan has revealed staggering 17% percent prevalence of diabetes or more than 35 million people amongst the adult population are estimated to be suffering from diabetes in Pakistan. In comparison to the burden, the physicians treating diabetes are low in number which makes it extremely hard to meet with the challenge at hand. With the emergence of newer diagnostic tools and treatment options, it is getting easier for the primary care providers to be sufficiently equipped to treat diabetes and contribute in the management of this challenge.

Diabetes ECHO, an initiative by Ferozsons in collaboration with Health Net, Pakistan is designed to help primary healthcare physicians in the management of diabetes to improve long term health outcomes and decrease costly referrals. This project will use case based learning system in a virtual learning network of providers interested in long term self-education and collaboration via the Diabetes ECHO Sessions. This is done through a special software designed to provide a common screen accessible on personal laptops or mobile phones at any place of comfort for the participants.

The topics for the case based learning included:

• Basics of diabetes and pathophysiology involved
• Diet and lifestyle challenges in diabetes
• How to diagnose and assign a specific line of treatment
• Handling the treatment challenges

The first in the sessions was conducted by Professor Dr. Imran Hassan, Consultant Physician Lahore General Hospital in February with more sessions planned over the next few months. The ECHO model dramatically increases access to specialty treatment in rural and underserved areas by providing front-line clinicians with the knowledge and support they need to manage patients with complex conditions such as: diabetes, hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis, chronic pain, endocrinology, behavioral health disorders, and many others. It does this by engaging clinicians in a continuous learning system and partnering them with specialist mentors at an academic medical center or hub. This project aims to elevate the current knowledge and management options for physicians to help deal with the challenge of diabetes in Pakistan.

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