WASHINGTON (13 April 2017) — A large number of the 2.2 million people living in the Tharparker district of Pakistan’s Sindh province are afflicted with debilitating diseases. Hepatitis, tuberculosis, snake bites and malaria, combined with malnutrition and poor health care, result in high death tolls.

IEEE volunteers decided to do something about it. They went to the village of Mithi, where proper sanitation and reliable electricity are sorely lacking. Using communications technologies, they established a telemedicine unit.

Through video conferencing and other electronic means, health data is now transmitted to physicians in Hyderabad. This has greatly improved disease diagnosis and treatment.

Sarang Shaikh, treasurer of the IEEE Karachi Section, discussed the project at the 2015 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). He said the Mithi initiative was the brainchild of Pakistani college students.

“People living there had to travel 200 kilometers just to take simple advice from a doctor,” Shaikh said. “So [the students] came up with an idea to establish a telemedicine unit network and remotely cure the patients.”

2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference

GHTC 2017 (http://2017.ieeeghtc.org/) organizers are eager to learn new ways technology is being deployed to reduce suffering and improve quality of life. They seek papers, posters, workshops and panel sessions by 23 April.

Presentations will be delivered at the DoubleTree by Hilton in San Jose, Calif., 19-22 October. Key focus areas include:

* Poverty Alleviation
* Health Care
* Agriculture & Food Security
* Quality Education
* Affordable & Clean Energy
* Clean Water & Sanitation
* Connectivity & Communications
* Humanitarian Challenges & Opportunities
* Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery
* Other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Researchers, funders, educators, policymakers, practitioners and end-user community representatives are encouraged to attend and contribute. See submission guidelines at http://2017.ieeeghtc.org/important-submission-information.

GHTC is organized by IEEE Region 6 (Western United States) and the IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section. IEEE-USA is a technical co-sponsor.

IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 190,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.

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Contact: John Yaglenski
Director, IEEE-USA Communications
+1 202 530 8356