Developing COVID-19 emergency response centres in geographically challenged areas of Pakistan: A case study of the Aga Khan Development Network

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


The inevitable COVID-19 global pandemic has severely affected Pakistan's fragile healthcare system. The system was already facing a significant burden of noncommunicable and other infectious diseases, and the pandemic further exacerbated the disease and the healthcare burden in Pakistan. In such a situation, people who live in geographically challenged areas with limited healthcare infrastructure and resources are more vulnerable to the impacts of a pandemic. The authors share the experience of the development of emergency response centres (ERCs) in the rural remote mountainous regions of Pakistan-Chitral, an initiative that the Government of Pakistan and Aga Khan Health Service Pakistan (AKHSP) implemented to manage the increasing rates of COVID-19 cases in these areas. The authors outline the processes that need to be undertaken to develop such healthcare facilities in a short period of time and discusses the challenges of establishing and operating these centres and the lessons learnt during and after the development of these centres in the remote mountainous regions of Pakistan.


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher


The International Journal of Health Planning and Management