Preparedness and impact of COVID 19 infection at tertiary care neurology centers in Pakistan

Dureshshahwar Kanwar, Safia Awan, Ali Sajjad, Anjum Farooq, Lal Chand, Awais Bashir Larak, Abdul Malik, Mohammad Wazir, Adnan Aslam, Husnain Hashim, Farheen Niazi, Mohammad Fateen Rasheed, Fozan Khan, Mazhar Hamdani, Fahad Saleem, Athar Iqbal, Ahmed Asif, Naila Shahbaz, Haris Majid, Mohammad Wasay

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We aimed to assess the response and impact of covid 19 pandemic at tertiary care centers in Pakistan especially pertaining to neurological care, facilities and training. Methods: A pre-tested survey form was sent to 40 neurology tertiary care centers in all the provinces in the country in the first week of July 2020. 33 filled forms were received, out of which 18 were public (government) and 15 were private hospitals. Results: Estimated 1300 HCW (faculty, medical officers, trainees and nurses) work at these 33 participating centers. There were 17 deaths among HCW (1.3%) at ten centers. Sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) were provided to 158 HCW (12%). 129 (10%)HCW tested positive for COVID 19 at 31 centers including trainees/medical officers (39), consultants (29) and nursing and other staff (61). Due to low neurology admissions, 23/33 hospitals (70%) posted neurology trainees in COVID 19 units to contribute to covid care. Less than 50% hospitals did covid screening PCR before admission to neurology wards. Only 10% hospitals provide training and regular update to HCW. Neurology tele-health services were started for clinically stable patients at 15 (45%) centers. Only 60% neurology training programs were able to start online training. Ongoing research studies and trials focusing neurological manifestations of COVID-19 were done at 10 (30%) centers. Modification of facilities for COVID patients showed that 24(72%) hospitals strictly reduced the number of attendants accompanying patients. Only 10 (30%) centers had neurophysiological tests being conducted on COVID-19 patients. Mental health support services to HCW were provided at 12 (36%) centers. Conclusions: Among HCW 10% tested positive for covid and 1.3% died. Mental health support services offered for HCW were available in 36% institutions. Neurology training was substantially affected due to low admissions, limited ward rounds and limited availability of online training.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117462
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021


  • COVID -19
  • Health care workers
  • Neurology training
  • Pakistan
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Tertiary care centers


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