Evaluation of the Resources and Inequities Among Pediatric Critical Care Facilities in Pakistan

Qalab Abbas, Fatima Farrukh Shahbaz, Muhammad Zaid H. Hussain, Mustafa Ali Khan, Hamna Shahbaz, Huba Atiq, Naveed ur Rehman Siddiqui, Murtaza Ali Gowa, Muhammad Tariq Jamil, Farman Ali, Ata Ullah Khan, Abdul Rahim Ahmed, Anwar ul Haque, Muhammad Haroon Hamid, Asad Latif, Adnan Bhutta

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4 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate nationwide pediatric critical care facilities and resources in Pakistan. DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study. SETTING: Accredited pediatric training facilities in Pakistan. PATIENTS: None. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A survey was conducted using the Partners in Health 4S (space, staff, stuff, systems) framework, via email or telephone correspondence. We used a scoring system in which each item in our checklist was given a score of 1, if available. Total scores were added up for each component. Additionally, we stratified and analyzed the data between the public and private healthcare sectors. Out of 114 hospitals (accredited for pediatric training), 76 (67%) responded. Fifty-three (70%) of these hospitals had a PICU, with a total of 667 specialized beds and 217 mechanical ventilators. There were 38 (72%) public hospitals and 15 (28%) private hospitals. There were 20 trained intensivists in 16 of 53 PICUs (30%), while 25 of 53 PICUs (47%) had a nurse-patient ratio less than 1:3. Overall, private hospitals were better resourced in many domains of our four Partners in Health framework. The Stuff component scored more than the other three components using analysis of variance testing (p = 0.003). On cluster analysis, private hospitals ranked higher in Space and Stuff, along with the overall scoring. CONCLUSIONS: There is a general lack of resources, seen disproportionately in the public sector. The scarcity of qualified intensivists and nursing staff poses a challenge to Pakistan’s PICU infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E611-E620
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • low-middle-income country
  • pediatric critical care infrastructure
  • pediatric intensive care unit
  • resources


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