The healthcare activities of the Aga Khan Development Network began by tracking the pandemic in early 2020. It then engaged with Ministries of Health to develop country- as well as area-specific COVID-19 preparedness plans. The priority was to bolster government and AKDN’s diagnostic and care capacities and secure much needed supplies and test kits. By mid-March of 2020, an AKDN COVID-19 Global Task Force (GTF) was set up to mount a robust response to the pandemic across all agencies and the Imamat, and to make use of global learning.
The AKDN response ranged from frontline health workers testing suspected cases and treating mild and moderately ill patients, construction of additional temporary health facilities and increasing the capacity to treat severe and critical cases, to advising national authorities on their country’s response and preparedness. The AKDN COVID-19 GTF adopted three pillars for its work: slow and stop transmission, prevent outbreaks, delay and suppress the spread (or “flatten the curve”); provide optimised care for all patients, especially for the severely and critically ill; and minimise impact on communities, the vulnerable, social services and economic activity.