Indus Hospital Research Center
Indus Hospital Research Center (IHRC) functions as an essential hub for research-related activities at IHHN to promote, support, and guide the Indus’ diverse research interests. While promoting research, we strive to foster a scientifically robust and ethically sound research environment within the Indus Hospital and Network. All our activities are primed to help and assist clinician-driven research and be an incubator for service delivery programs that are not ready for scale-up into other network hospitals or the community.
IHRC was originally established in 1998 at the Korangi Campus and was run in partnership with IRD to successfully establish and run public health community-based initiatives. In 2017, the running of IHRC was completely handed over to Indus’ Medical Directorate and its larger established community-based public health initiatives such as TB, Malaria, and Diabetes were moved to the newly established Global Health Directorate (GHD).
Since the transition, IHRC’s primary focus has been clinician-driven research and the incubator for public health programs that are not yet ready to scale-up. IHRC also plays a role in supporting research of our postgraduate medical trainees.
In May 2020, IHRC was moved from the Medical Directorate to the Academic Directorate.
IHRC is run by a team of dedicated epidemiologists, statisticians, program managers, research associates, data management unit persons, and administrative staff. To ensure the smooth functioning of research activities, we work closely with operational departments such as Finance, Human Resource, Pharmacy, Health Informatics.
Sponsored Research Projects / Programs
Cochlear Implant & Rehabilitation Program
Indus Hospital and Health Network has been offering free cochlear implant services since 2014. In 2017, IHRC took over and transformed the services into a comprehensive Cochlear Implant and Rehabilitation Program. The program is managed by a program team which includes speech and language therapists, audiologists, and psychologist.
The main focus of the program team has been on providing patient-centered outcomes and its follow-up. In 2019-20, the transition of the speech-la2nguage therapists, audiologists, and psychologists back to the Ear Nose Throat Department took place. The programmatic running and research aspects of this program remain under IHRC’s supervision.
Training and development of the non-surgical technical teams have been a core function at IHRC. We have organized online training for Auditory Verbal therapy and mapping with collaborators in Singapore for the speech-language therapists and audiologists.
In 2020, the program team succeeded in securing Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal support for Cochlear Implant surgeries to a needy and deserving patient.
Rabies Free Pakistan (RFP)
In response to the growing concerns about dog-bite cases in the country and the culling of dogs, the ‘Rabies Free Karachi’ pilot project was formed. This project started in Ibrahim Hyderi, Bin Qasim Town, in collaboration with leading veterinarians, animal-right activists, community engagement experts, doctors, animal behaviorists, and researchers.
In 2019-20, ‘Rabies Free Karachi’ became ‘Rabies Free Pakistan’ (RFP). Indus Hospital & Health Network signed an MoU of PKR 60 million with Getz Pharma Private Limited to work towards the eradication of Rabies by 2030.
A surgical mobile van was donated by Ghandhara Nissan Motors, while the RFP team also provided training to local government participants for dog catching and vaccination.
From July 1, 2019 to May 30, 2020, the RFP team vaccinated 7,663 street dogs against rabies and sterilized 1,361 dogs across Karachi.
Aimed at testing the efficacy of an anti-Rabies vaccine (Verocell) on healthy participants in terms of antibody titer buildup and to report side-effects (if any). The study hopes to potentially shorten the number of doses to accelerate the treatment regimen.
This multi-arm trial is now in the analysis phase and will provide very important information on the efficacy of a Chinese anti-rabies vaccine.
It is a joint study between Infectious Diseases Department and IHRC. The impact of the study findings will be to possibly provide evidence that shortens the number of doses to accelerate the treatment regimen. The blood samples were collected from 85 participants on different days (Day 0, 7, 14, 28, 90, 365, 380).
The lab aspect of this study was done in collaboration with the Biology Department, School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Improve ER Conditions Of Hospitals In Pakistan Using Behavioral Sciences Approch
In 2019, IHRC received a research grant in collaboration with Policy Analytics, a Swiss health research company, and funded by the International Committee of Red Cross. It is a multi-site study with one site at the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar and one at Indus Hospital & Health Network, Korangi.
The study aims to identify the main drivers of violence against healthcare providers in emergency and to design and test behavioral interventions to reduce violence by hospital staff, patients, and attendants in the Emergency Department (ED). The sites were selected based on the high patient volume in the ED and willingness by the administration to collaborate.
In collaboration with the University of Manitoba, a sepsis trial is planned with the Infectious Disease and IHRC at Indus Hospital & Health Network, Korangi Campus. National Bioethics approval and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approvals were sought during 2019-2020. The international team has planned visits to Pakistan twice for site initiation.
The trial is ready to begin enrollment in Pakistan once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.