July 19, 2012

“The Edhi Foundation has raised the largest single fleet of ambulances in the country, with an unparalleled record of quick response for the victims of any disaster. Its nation-wide network, equipped with the latest communication system, covers the remotest areas of Pakistan. A fleet of over 400 ambulances, field mobile units and rescue units are maintained in a state of readiness to meet any emergency in the shortest possible time anywhere in Pakistan,” says a study conducted by the department of emergency medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and published in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA)

However, few know that the Aman Foundation has also stepped into this domain to provide emergency health services (EMS), including a fleet of new ambulances.

At a press conference, Dr Junaid Razzak, CEO of Aman Healthcare Services, reeled off interesting statistics about the ambulance service. There are 100 ambulances across Karachi, that receive calls almost every six minutes, and arrive at the caller’s home at an average of six-and-a half minutes carrying life-saving drugs, oxygen, glucometers and facilities for echo-cardiograms among other things. In fact, what distinguishes the Aman Foundation ambulances from the majority of Karachi ambulances that are essentially transport vehicles with untrained staff and little or no life-saving equipment or supplies, is that they provide advanced life support to victims on site.

Mr Ahsan Jamil, the CEO of Aman Foundation, spoke about the foundation’s future goals of improving education, sports and performing arts facilities in the hope of creating more careers within these fields. The plan is not to build more schools and hospitals, he stated, but to improve the already existing structures and bring them up to standard. The foundation also plans to work on issues of mental health and start vocational training for students and teachers.

In a city of 18 million, the number of ambulances in Karachi needs to increase from a few hundred to several thousand, and with the arrival of the Aman Foundation’s EMS, the Edhi and Chhipa ambulances will not be the only ones providing emergency services in Pakistan’s largest, most densely-populated metropolis.