Roshan, Cisco, Aga Khan University Hospital and the French Medical
Institute for Children Team up to Expand Healthcare Access by Linking
Afghan Hospitals to International Medical Institutions
KABUL, Afghanistan, June 20th /CNW/ -- Roshan, the leading telecom
operator in Afghanistan, today launched a pioneering Telemedicine solution in
Afghanistan to expand healthcare access and delivery across the country. Using
broadband technology, wireless video consultation and digital image transfer,
the Telemedicine project will provide hospitals in Afghanistan with real-time
access to specialist diagnosis, treatment and training expertise from abroad.
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Roshan has teamed with Cisco, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), French
Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) and other technology suppliers to launch
the project. The first phase of the project has already linked FMIC in Kabul,
Afghanistan to AKUH in Karachi Pakistan, enabling access to a broad array of
radiology expertise provided by AKUH. Subsequent phases will link major Afghan
regional hospitals to the FMIC, which is being developed as an Afghan center
of medical excellence. Eventually, the links can be extended to medical
institutions in Europe and North America. The Telemedicine project developed
in Afghanistan is also seen as a model for addressing healthcare delivery
shortcomings in other developing countries where access to medical diagnosis,
treatment and training is limited.
"Access to healthcare, especially specialist diagnosis and treatment,
remains a critical problem in Afghanistan," said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan.
"Telemedicine technology provides a solution that has the potential to
dramatically expand access to quality medical care for Afghans whose only
option previously was to seek specialist diagnosis or treatment overseas.
Telemedicine not only immediately enhances access to medical diagnosis and
treatment, but it also helps to build and sustain the nation's healthcare
capacity through sharing of expertise. Patients will now benefit from the
international knowledge without the need to transport specialists to the
"Our Government is striving to improve the quality of life of our people
and providing quality healthcare is one of our top priorities. Telemedicine is
the perfect marriage between the speed, convenience and cost-effectiveness of
wireless and broadband technology. This innovative use of technology and
telecommunications to enhance healthcare delivery will help underpin our
efforts to meet the nation's other development challenges," said Amirzai
Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan.
"At Cisco we believe that quality healthcare is one of our world's most
vital needs. That is why we have taken a leadership position to develop
technologies, such as our medical grade network that enables collaboration and
sharing of health information over a secure and intelligent infrastructure. We
are proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to deliver a telemedicine
solution to Afghanistan," said Sam Alkharrat, Cisco Managing Director, Gulf &
Pakistan. Cisco, together with other telecommunications suppliers, is
providing digital image transfer systems and video consultation for the
Telemedicine involves the use of broadband technology that provides real-
time high speed access for the transfer of medical imaging, video, data and
voice. Applications include the ability to send real-time X-ray, ultrasound
and CAT Scans (Computerized Axial Tomography) for evaluation. The technology
also enables e-learning and training through video consultation.
The initial service provided will be teleradiology, the electronic
transmission of radiological patient images. There will be an average of 60 to
80 transmissions and 10 to 15 teleconferences between hospitals per month,
with the numbers increasing over time. Telemedicine capabilities will
gradually be expanded to address different services and procedures including
evaluation of tissue samples and the on-line performance of medical and
"This project not only represents cooperation between the companies and
institutions involved, but is also an important collaborative effort between
Afghanistan and Pakistan to address regional healthcare needs," said Firoz
Rasul, President of Aga Khan University. "Telemedicine will dramatically
expand the healthcare diagnostic and education of health professionals, who
will be accessible to the people of Afghanistan and will allow hospitals
across the nation to leverage AKUH's world-class medical expertise."
"FMIC is on the front lines of healthcare delivery in Afghanistan,
serving per month an average of 4,000 patients in the out patients department,
3,000 patients in radiology and 14,000 lab tests. Telemedicine is already
allowing us to expand the resources at our disposal and draw on the expertise
of AKUH for specialist consultation, second opinions and treatment input,
resulting in speedier diagnosis and treatment and better outcomes for
patients," said Kate Rowlands, General Director, FMIC. "As the project expands
to Afghanistan's regional hospitals, patients across the nation, regardless of
their socio- economic status, will benefit from the combined expertise and
resources of FMIC and AKUH."
Roshan has spearheaded development of the Telemedicine project from
initial conceptualization through implementation as part of its ongoing
commitment to serving as a catalyst for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan's
leading Telecom Operator, with a countrywide network of 180 cities and towns.
Roshan is owned by an international consortium made up of the following
shareholders: The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) -- 51%,
Monaco Telecom International (MTI), a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless --
36.75%, MCT Corp -- 12.25%. Roshan directly employs more than 900 people and
provides indirect employment to more than 20,000 people. Roshan has invested
over US$ 260 million in Afghanistan and is the country's single largest
investor and tax payer contributing approximately 6% of the Afghan
Government's overall domestic revenue. Roshan is deeply committed to
Afghanistan's reconstruction and socio-economic development.
About the Aga Khan Development Network
The Aga Khan Development Network, which has been supporting humanitarian
assistance and rehabilitation in Afghanistan since 1995, works for the common
good of all citizens, regardless of their gender, origin or religion. In all
its activities, AKDN is guided by Islam's ethic of compassion for those less
fortunate. At the same time, the Islamic ethic discourages a culture of
dependency, lest it undermine a person's dignity. AKDN's ultimate aim,
therefore, is to help the poor achieve a level of self-reliance whereby they
are able to plan their own livelihoods and help those even more needy than
themselves. Its programs in Afghanistan come under a comprehensive development
agreement signed by His Highness the Aga Khan and President Hamid Karzai.
About Aga Khan University Hospital
Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi is committed to providing the
diagnosis of disease and team management of patient care. These facilities are
backed up by highly specialized doctors and nurses as well as quality support
services. The Hospital's multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and care
ensures a continuum of safe and high quality care for patients.
About French Medical Institute For Children (FMIC), Kabul
FMIC focuses on its missions of providing quality care, being accessible
to all sections of society, upgrading the human capacity within Afghanis and
providing a model for sustainability. FMIC has established itself as a
reputable hospital delivering high quality care for children. Volumes have
continued to soar; in 2006, FMIC served 1,280 inpatients and 23,000
outpatients in the clinics in one full year and already in the first five
months of 2007, it has seen 987 inpatients and 13,365 outpatients in clinics,
growths of 85% and 39% respectively. Pediatric cardiac surgery has been
introduced for the first time in Afghanistan and over 170 cases done to date.
Sophisticated orthopedic and general surgery cases are being performed
regularly. Laboratory at FMIC is being monitored regularly for quality for its
hematology/clinical chemistry testing and over 70 tests are being done on-
site, with other tests being sent to Karachi. Radiology services include a CT
Scan, general radiography and ultrasound.
For more information on Roshan please visit: www.roshan.af
For further information:
For further information: Elizabeth Cheek, of Hill & Knowlton,
+1-212-885-0682, email@example.com, for Roshan Web Site: