22nd August 2020, Lahore: In the times of COVID19 pandemic, when the world turned upside down, the main issue everyone was concerned about was how to approach a doctor. Emergency rooms were overloaded, COVID wards were running out of capacity and hospitals were a death zone. In this time going to hospitals was not even the last option on the list. Developed countries around the world were already working on a solution and provided their people with telemedicine, But, what the major concern was, what if this happen in Pakistan? What if we are the worst hit country? what if our hospitals are not taking any patients?. The questions were unanswered.
As soon as the COVID19 wave started in Pakistan, Marham started working on telemedicine to provide the best possible services to the people stuck at their homes. It was fortunate that right before Pakistan hit its peak in COVID19 pandemic, Marham’s telemedicine service was out and serving may people already. It will not be wrong if I say that Marham’s telemedicine service was the first one of its kind.
“We decided to share the burden of those fighting a disease, also those who could not step out of their houses, Our purpose was to facilitate them on their doorstep and without any hassle of stepping out in the unsafe environment. Thousands of people around Pakistan have been helped all through the time of this Pandemic lockdown” says Asma Salman Omer (co-founder Marham).
Serving thousands of people everyday, it became a go to solution not only for the people of Pakistan, but also the doctors. Marham’s online consultation successfully started serving thousand of affected people in the time of need. Be it gynaecology problems, urology or any other speciality i.e dermatology in Pakistan, it was a matter of minutes to connect to the right doctor.
Furthermore, mentioning the services provided by Marham, it was not only Online Video consultations that was helping the people but also a service known as Marham forum. Marham forum enabled a wide range of people to ask their doctors any question at any time for free. Pakistan, in the time of this pandemic was in a dire need of a service like this. With little to no resources, it was one great step taken by this healthcare company to serve the people of Pakistan with what was the need of this hour.
“We believe in this era of technology, our people should not suffer as they do. We have already establish practices across Pakistan as well as penetrate the rural and underprivileged areas of Pakistan, Marham is still working on expanding the services” Asma concludes.
Having telemedicine services in Pakistan is indeed a blessing in disguise. As now people have realised that the minor illnesses treated through online consultation rather than waiting in long queues and is now saving them from the possibility of contracting COVID-19 at the overcrowded hospitals. People are responding really well to this service. The burden and excessive load on the emergency ward of the hospitals have reduced. As the people rushing towards the hospitals only for stomach aches, minor fevers and other issues shifted to telemedicine services.
Following in the footsteps of this initiative, many doctors have voluntarily offered their services for free and are offering free consultations to COVID19 patients through Marham.pk.
It is said that after serving many people across Pakistan before and during this pandemic, Marham is planning to expand its services further to the areas which are currently inaccessible. Moreover, apart from connecting the patients to the doctors this telemedicine service has also helped to settle down the excessive COVID19 panic and anxiety.
Initiative like this in the time of the pandemic is what we all needed. Pakistani healthcare startups are trying their best to share the burden that would have been only dealt by the hospitals if it wasn’t telemedicine. Let’s take a moment and appreciate them for all these efforts they have put in to help people in the COVID19 pandemic.