Corporate Social responsibility should be an integral part of any company’s business strategy. Cognizant of this fact, Zong has been at the forefront of working towards the betterment of the communities it operates in.
The telecom giant has worked relentlessly to provide inclusivity for the marginalized and underserved strata of the country. Besides serving the communication needs of more than 40 million Pakistanis, Zong has made it the company’s mission to align important social causes with their business.
In an attempt to reduce the digital and social divide through such initiatives, Zong has reached out to the communities in need, time and again, extending its support. As a testament to 70 years of Pak-China friendship, Zong has led sustainability through multiple digital solutions in numerous sectors such as health, education, and governance.
Partnership with orphanages, old age homes, and schools to extend its support by providing training and supplies are only some of the highlights of Zong’s many CSR initiatives. Moreover, Zong has been actively engaged in promoting gender inclusivity by building vocational centers for girls and women and training them to ensure skill development and financial independence.
The looming health crisis of Pakistan
Pakistan is faced with an unprecedented healthcare crisis, as almost 70% of the Pakistani population lives in underserved rural areas where healthcare services are hindered by the lack of medical personnel, sparse facilities, and the high cost of treatments.
Each year, over five million women become pregnant, and of these 700,000 (15% of all pregnant women) are likely to experience some obstetrical and medical complications. An estimated 30,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related causes, and the most recent estimates indicate that the MMR is 276 per 100,000 births annually.
Furthermore, an estimated 423,000 children under five die each year, almost half of them being newborns.
Pakistan also faces an acute shortage of different cadres of healthcare workers, which is bound to escalate further because of its high population growth rate. This can be attributed to the case of missing female doctors.
The percentage of female students in medical schools in Pakistan is as high as 80–85 percent, the percentage of female doctors in the medical workforce remains below 50 percent, resultantly leading to a limited cadre of healthcare workers.
Zong & Sehat Kahani – Reimagining healthcare in Pakistan
In its latest move to enhance access to health services, Zong has joined forces with Sehat Kahani, one of the most successful telemedicine enterprises in Pakistan. This partnership is bound to help the marginalized strata of Pakistan by offering free remote and online consultations, and ensuring the availability of accessible healthcare services.
Through Sehat Kahani, Zong will provide over 12,000 eHealth consultations to those who do not have access to basic healthcare facilities. Among these 12,000 consultations, 7,000 will be those related to COVID-19 cases and the remaining will be offered to non-COVID cases.
An integral part of this collaboration is to create awareness about the coronavirus, new variants, preventive measures, importance of vaccination, concerns related to pre-vaccination, and cautions after the process, through videos and interactive live sessions. These sessions will be shared across the official digital channels of Zong and Sehat Kahani.
To bring prompt services to individuals in remote areas, online interactive sessions are being organized across the social media platforms of Zong 4G and Sehat Kahani. These sessions will include awareness sessions on COVID-19 along with other diseases and illnesses, which will be answered by healthcare specialists on the spot.
A 24/7 helpline is also available to facilitate all patients through voice calls.
Speaking about this partnership, Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram, Co-Founder and CEO of Sehat Kahani, says, “Zong’s step to use our platform in order to spread the benefits of telemedicine to the underprivileged is one-of-a-kind in the country. It is our mutual mission to democratize healthcare in Pakistan using telemedicine solutions.”
In a bid to ensure gender inclusivity, the partnership will also support Sehat Kahani’s cause of missing female doctors.
To date, Sehat Kahani has provided over 500,000 consultations and has effectively facilitated over more than 7 million+ individuals through its 35 e-health clinics and mobile app. Through this partnership with Zong, Sehat Kahani will continue to bring healthcare to each and every individual of Pakistan, no matter how far.