NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Pneumonia related policy formation in Pakistan

This project is based at Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Research Network (MNCHRN) in Pakistan

Overview

  • Project title:  Exploration of pneumonia related policy formation and implementation in Pakistan
  • Acute or chronic:  Acute
  • Based at:  MNCHRN
  • Start date:  01 May 2018
  • End date:  31 March 2020
  • Principal investigator:  Tabish Hazir
  • Project team:  Hana Mahmood, Syed Yahya Sheraz, Subhana Akber, Saira Mujahid, Maryam Javed, Hira Kiani, Omair Sheikh

Background

In order to reduce pneumonia related morbidity and mortality, the WHO and UNICEF have developed multiple action/intervention plans. They bring together critical interventions to promote practices to save the lives of children, to create healthy environments and to have access to appropriate preventive and treatment measures.

In Pakistan, these WHO guidelines have been adapted through numerous policies/programmes over the last three decades. Despite this, pneumonia related mortality remains unchanged in the country. There are concerns why these programmes have failed to deliver, despite what appear to be sound policies on paper.

There is a need to understand how pneumonia related policies are formulated in Pakistan and what are the inherent flaws in this process leading to poor outcomes.

There are multiple reasons for the inability of these programmes to deliver intended outcomes. These include a lack of indigenous ownership at the provincial, district and community level, the impact of unsteady politics on Pakistan’s health policy environment and poor implementation of programmes due to various reasons. For the best outcomes at a national level, initiatives need to be supported not only by appropriate policies and strategies but there should be local ownership of these programmes by engaging local communities at grass root level and regional delivery and governance institutions and programmes.

Aim and impact

The aim of the study is to develop a better understanding of how pneumonia related policies are formulated in Pakistan and to identify weaknesses in this process through a two phase study. The first will be in-depth study of pneumonia related policy documents and the second will be a qualitative phase with key informant interviews conducted from relevant stakeholders to understand how policies are conceptualised.

Findings from the study will help to develop recommendations for improving the process of pneumonia related policy making in Pakistan, in order to have a significant impact on reducing morbidity and mortality in Pakistan.

Key developments

  • From the first phase of the study, policy and program documents for content analysis were acquired and data has been extracted. 20 in-depth interviews have been conducted with key stakeholders. Data collection, transcription and translation are completed.
  • The second phase of the study is now underway.
  • The Health Minister was approached and agreed to provide a letter of support for the initiative. Further stakeholder engagement activities are planned.
  • The study protocol was presented as a poster at the 7th International Conference on Endorsing Health Science Research held at the Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan in April 2019.
  • The study has been projected in front of the National Sustainable Development Goals Taskforce.