We sat down with Dr. Alia Haider and talked about an initiative she is a part of that provides personal protective equipment to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
Friends of Doctors is an initiative that was started by doctors when this coronavirus pandemic started, and they have been providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) to doctors, nurses, and paramedics in Pakistan ever since. The initiative is led by doctors where they collect donations particularly through the hashtag #stayhomeanddonate on social media.
The donations are then used to purchase face shields, N95 masks, goggles, sanitizers, and gloves for doctors to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
According to Dr. Alia Haider, the distribution began in Punjab; more than 5000 PPEs were distributed in Mayo Hospital, General Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, and Services Hospital in Lahore. Further PPEs were distributed in Nankana Sahab, Sialkot, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Wehrari, and in other areas around Punjab.
They then distributed PPEs in Balochistan, which was led by Dr. Alia Haider. They covered almost 12 districts with more than 1000 PPES, including Khuzdar, Kharan, Jafferaabad, Dalbandin Chagi, Lasbela Loralai, and even some rural and peripheral areas.
More than 500 PPEs were distributed in Mansehra and Gilgit Baltistan, while more were distributed in Nawabshah Peoples Medical Hospital, Isra Medical Hospital in Hyderabad, Khairpur, and Jacobabad.
By the start of May, Friends of Doctors had distributed more than 10,000 PPEs throughout Pakistan, with Faisal Edhi and Edhi Foundation helping them with transport.
Dr. Alia Haider said about the initiative, “It is to help free Pakistan of coronavirus with all we can”.