HealthNet TPO has been active in Pakistan since 1993, successfully implementing various health care programmes. Warfare and the recent floods are still creating needs to respond to psychosocial distress of the affected population, not only because of displacement, but also because of life and property losses, abnormal living conditions leading towards stress and anxiety. In addition, many health facilities have been washed out, which causes a deterioration of health service provision.
In January 2011, the Health Services Academy (HSA) and HealthNet TPO signed a MoU to collaborate in the development of a Health System Strengthening (HSS) programme. HSA is an autonomous body under the Pakistani Ministry of Health, established as an in-service training centre in 1988, and now developed into an institute of training and research in public health. To strengthen the health system and to develop local capacity, the partners will jointly develop training modules and trainings for health personnel in terms of public health care, leadership and management.
HealthNet TPO also signed a tripartite MoU with BRIDGE (non-profit public health organization) and the JOBS Group (consortium of entities sharing common goals in private sector development, poverty alleviation, human resources capacity building and placement). The partners will jointly apply for funding for - and if successful, subsequently implement –the project “Developing a pharmacotherapy and structural jobs intervention among Pakistani Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs)”. Within the project, HealthNet TPO will provide psychosocial rehabilitation and support to the IDUs at the rehabilitation centers.
Collaboration will start with BRAC in developing public health programmes in Pakistan. BRAC is currently world's largest NGO with more than 120,000 staff, reaching more than 110 million people, operating on themes such as microfinance, education and health. The purpose of this partnership is to develop a programme for the integration of mental health (component nine of the primary health care in Pakistan) into the existing primary health care programme run by BRAC. We will assist BRAC by conducting a national needs assessment on mental health, developing a curriculum, training of the health staff and create awareness within communities on mental health and psychological support, and set up referral systems. We will also work together on developing sustainable health financing systems, including a health insurance model for poor communities.
In March 2011 HealthNet TPO has signed another MoU with the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), in the Benazir Bhutto Hospital. IOP is an academic unit of the Rawalpindi Medical College and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Research & Training for the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Partners mutually agreed to work together on research projects and mental health advocacy.