New Fund Launched to Shield Poor Pakistanis from High Medical Costs

Amid warning of an impending health epidemic in Pakistan’s flood-hit regions, a new fund to protect households from huge health costs was launched Tuesday, Sept. 20, on the sidelines of the U.N. Summit on noncommunicable diseases.

The Sania Nishtar Health Fund was launched with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The fund will support the work of Heartfile Health Financing, an I.T.-enabled and mobile health integrated social protection system in Pakistan, and can be accessed by registered health workers to shield poor families from high medical expenses that can easily cripple them.

The fund is named after Sania Nishtar, Pakistan’s first female cardiologist, who is known internationally for her leadership in health and strategic use of new platforms, technologies and information systems to improve health systems.

In July, Nishtar received the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Innovation Award. The award was accompanied by the grant for the health fund.

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  • Che

    Che de los Reyes

    As a senior staff writer, Che focuses on international development breaking news coverage as well as interviews and features. Prior to joining Devex, Che handled communications for local and international development NGOs and government institutions in the Philippines.