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SehatKahani – Story of Health

Empower displaced communities through provision of a digital system for a better health care management of refugees

Photo of Dr. Sara Saeed Khurrum
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 4.8 million IDPs remains to go back to their homes. UN has categorized Pakistan as the worst human displacement in the world in the last 15 years. A decade-long militant insurgency; many military operations in the northwest and natural disasters have displaced 5.3 millions of people from their homes in Pakistan. Mass exodus due to conflicts and insecurity has made it impossible for the displaced persons to attain basic health care. While on the other hand; 77% of the female doctors discontinue medical practice once they get married. Hence, health services, though available in the area, are already overstretched before the IDPs’ arrival. An unnoticed aspect of displacement is the loss of privacy and honor of womenfolk who are culturally kept protected from the eyes of strangers. This has further confined women to the stifling tents in the camps. SehatKahani’s idea has the potential to transform the mode of delivery of health care for IDPs by integrating health with technology. We do this by 1. establishing e-hubs within their community vicinity so safe spaces can be created for them to access primary and mental health care services 2. Develop& Improve skills of community based frontline health workers living in the displaced communities to deliver culturally appropriate health care services. 3.Recruit female health specialists to deliver quality health services to beneficiaries through online platform. 4.Availability of appropriate, culturally sensitive psychosocial care for IDPs particularly for displaced adolescent girls & women to enable them to understand and cope with their posttraumatic stress.Our solution has the potential to improve the mental health of IDPs as well as prevent mortality and mortality due to non-communicable diseases, antenatal, postnatal complications as well as ability to cope with the severe loss of identity and integrity issues through respective counselling, mental health support

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Our target beneficiaries for this project are refugees residing in Pakistan. IDPs in Pakistan are living in tents without extra clothing, food, clean drinking water or health care. Displaced children face severe acute malnutrition with dozens of them dying from curable diseases as gastroenteritis, typhoid and respiratory infections. Women face the dual problem of maternal and child health problems as well as the reluctance to unveil themselves in front of male health care givers.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

We will utilize a human-centered approach that emphasis on a continuum of interventions in the community. Our innovative integrated approach focuses on working with community players, creating mechanisms and procedures to encourage dialogue and a sense of mutual accountability. To facilitate such linkages, we will continuously work to develop technical and clinical capacity to improve health service uptake and deliver appropriate, high-quality services that they have been devoid of.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Our telemedicine model is essential for treating refugees and people on the move who don't have access to specialist care, let alone the quality, regular follow-ups. The idea of providing health services remotely via tele-consultation particularly to women residing in tents helps break social barriers by allowing them to prioritize their health needs and improve social inclusiveness in the community. Our idea will offer maternal and child health services as well as services include psychiatry, continuity of care for patients who must change facilities due to violence, continuous care where there is a shortage of doctors, and staffing particularly dangerous zones where no doctor is safe to tread. Implementation of our idea in such communities will ensure provision of ethical care while respecting the socio-cultural practices of our beneficiaries thereby promoting peace and prosperity in these communities.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

We provide community based prevention and screening for early diagnosis for primary care diseases through e-health services and mobilization activities in order to reach those who would not otherwise approach a health center for the necessary services and check-ups such as women, children elderly and the very sick and poverty struck to be able to enhance self-confidence in these women, improve their ability to manage their chronic conditions & seek healthcare that they were unable to do so due to social & cultural barriers. In addition, community health workers in these displaced communities through our model will be provided opportunities to empower themselves as micro entrepreneurs by delivering quality health services. These CHWs will be able to access specialist from all over the World as well as access to continued training, peer learning through social engagement, frameworks to deliver clinical care and deliver campaign messages to rapidly mobilize and respond to outbreaks.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Displaced individuals are extremely vulnerable to structural and interpersonal violence, including war, physical endangerment, rape, intimate partner violence, and torture. Women, children, and sexual minorities are at especially high risk of sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, transactional sex, and human trafficking on the part of husbands, smugglers, police, and even refugee camp staff. For children, these adverse experiences can later manifest as increased morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases. Millions of preventable maternal deaths are reported due to birth complications and post partum hemorrhage. Individuals exposed to war, state-sponsored violence, separation and loss of family members, human trafficking, torture, or prolonged internment in refugee camps are at heightened risk for long-term psychiatric illnesses including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorder.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

(1)Afghan refugees: Most arrived in Peshawar, while some are well-off and live in formal housing, others live in informal settlements on the outskirts of the town alongside poorer IDPs and hosts. (2) IDPs (displaced 3–5 years): Many came to Peshawar after military operations in SWAT. They live across the city in more central areas and informal areas (3) IDPs (displaced 1–2 years): Primarily arrived in 2012 in FATA due to military operations and sectarian violence. (4) Urban refugees: People from flood zone areas and earthquake areas have moved from interior Sindh and Manshera to urban cities further crippling the limited health and economical resources. Many stay with relatives or in informal katchiabadis (houses with mud walls and roof). Refugees face significant challenges in accessing medical care. There is a myriad of competing housing, language, educational, health, and cultural demands on refugees’ limited resources. Language barriers further exacerbate this challenge.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Properly trained clinical and community human health resources including nurses, midwives and CHWs chosen from the community can develop rapport and establish credibility with refugee populations. Through our project we will provide real time training and assistance to these clinical and community workers in the displaced communities so they are better prepared to navigate cultural sensitivities and trust barriers to increase quality of care. The training and employment opportunities can bring a sense of purpose to disenfranchised refugees, giving them an opportunity to improve their livelihoods and earn more income in some cases. Hence by utilizing the existing human health resource in the communities we can improve the health outcomes of the refugees as well as will be able to prevent and control epidemic outbreaks that might affect the host communities if we did not leverage and empowered existing community strengths and resources.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Technology Partner: 10 Pearls - Will support in integration of protocols and algorithms for shared decision making, integration of real time referral system and integration of electronic medical records 2. Implementation Partners for E-Health Clinics: Chughtai Labs, Dvago, Tech Valley, Pharmevo, Kawish, Farm Dynamics Solution- support in identifying spaces to establish e-health clinics, identify community influential and provide logistic support. 3. Human Resource: PMA, TDSP- Assistance in identification of frontline female health workers 4. Health Education Campaigns: Pharmevo, Sanofi, BAT, Taskeen- Will provide logistics and marketing support to conduct health education and awareness drives in the selected communities. 5. Internet & Telecom Partners: Jazz - Assistance in providing seamless internet connectivity as well as provision of services such as e-payment and bulk SMS reminders for service promotion, appointment reminders and alerts will also be utilized

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Full Scale Roll Out: We have already tested and scaled this idea significantly with the intended user base (i.e. when innovation has reached 84% or above of the target population or above 1,000,000 users).

Group or Organization Name

Community Innovation Hub

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

SehatKahani has launched telehealth clinics in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Mansehra and Interior Sindh that is a disaster struck zone (with earthquakes and flooding). By providing 95,000 online consultations across 25 clinics, conducting 20 health drives, inducting 1500 online doctors and specialist as well as 100 community health resource we have reached 1000000 beneficiaries Our core team possesses various trainings based on public engagement that include Spring Accelerator, Acumen Fellowship, Global Good Fund Fellowship, MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program and World Bank training. We have an experience of 5+years working in rural communities to improve their health access through our telemedicine innovation. Hence we are aware of various operation challenges and equipped to address them. Our team majorly comprises of women most from the community, who are able to empathize with the women belonging to low income communities thus engaging them to seek health care when needed.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State



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