Pakistani-Saudi telehealth to launch maternity, childcare services in Yemen

A female doctor provides e-consultancy services to patients in Pakistan from her home in Riyadh in this June 15, 2020 file photo. (Photo courtesy: Educast)
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Updated 28 August 2020

Pakistani-Saudi telehealth to launch maternity, childcare services in Yemen

  • 200 Arabic-speaking e-doctors will offer advice in camp for internally displaced people

KARACHI: A lifesaving Pakistani-Saudi online telehealth platform is to launch a vital new maternity and childcare service in war-torn Yemen.
Following the success of its e-Doctor program in Pakistan, the Educast-run digital training and education initiative is to be expanded out into other countries, the group’s chief executive officer told Arab News.
Educast has trained hundreds of Pakistani doctors in telemedicine since 2019 and now aims to utilize their expertise in Yemen, which has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world.
A team of 200 Arabic-speaking, licensed Pakistani female doctors residing in the Middle East will provide the e-consultancy services in Yemen.
“Our main focus in Yemen will be maternal, neonatal, and child health,” said Abdullah Butt, CEO of Educast.
“Authorities in Yemen have granted us permission to start the telehealth operations under the e-Doctor program. The installation and testing of relevant equipment has been completed and operations will be launched in the first week of September.”
The e-Doctor initiative was launched in Pakistan in 2019 with academic support from Dow University of Health Sciences in Karachi, Sindh province, to lure back Pakistani women doctors who had stopped practicing medicine for a number of reasons, top among them being family pressure or relocation abroad following marriage.
“We have provided online training to 800 female e-doctors, working remotely from home in 15 countries. At present, through the platform, 450 women e-doctors are attached to Sindh government’s central coronavirus disease monitoring cell which remotely oversees thousands of COVID-19 patients,” Butt added.
Under the patronage of Prince Miteb bin Thunayan bin Muhammad Al-Saud and Prince Abdul Aziz bin Miteb Al-Saud, Educast plans to increase the scope of its e-Doctor program in different countries around the world.
“Some 200 licensed Pakistani female doctors residing in the Middle East will provide their e-consultant services in Yemen due to their familiarity with Arabic,” Butt said.
The e-Doctor program in Yemen will be launched with local partner, Empowerment Relief, in Marib city, at Al-Jufaina camp for internally displaced people, in the
western part of the country.
Ghulam Mustafa Tabbasum, head of e-Doctor operations in Yemen, told Arab News that as well as teleclinics, the company would also provide training to local health workers.
“Through this project female health workers, nursing staff, and paramedics will be trained by experts using our online interaction lectures with experts,” Tabbasum said.
Pakistani doctors involved in the project said that they were looking forward to the prospect of serving Yemeni mothers and children who were in dire need of access to skilled care.
“I will do my best, using my skills and knowledge, to help people in Yemen with the crisis and difficult situation they are facing,” UAE-based Dr. Saima Shamim
told Arab News.
“Mothers and children in war-torn Yemen need our help and I am excited and feel honored to serve them from Oman,” said Muscat-based


Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.