A Case Study of Telemedicine for Disaster Management in Underdeveloped Remote Districts of Balochistan, Pakistan

Khawaja, Wasim Shahid, Xinhai Lu


Balochistan (South West province of Pakistan) strategically lies at the border of Afghanistan and Iran. It is thelargest but overlooked and least developed in human development index in Pakistan. Universal Service Fund(USF) has recently started several telecom projects for broadband delivery, telemedicine and distant learning touplift and streamline the underprivileged class population of remote areas of Balochistan (Pakistan).Unfortunately, the ongoing and existing development projects are highly vulnerable to floods due tomountainous geography. This paper reports the breakdown analysis of telecom infrastructure throughunstructured interviews, blogs, newspapers and organizational reports. An overview of existing information andcommunication system shortcomings and its remedies are discussed and alternative technological options fornetwork resilience are highlighted through literature review and case studies. Two resilient designs forbroadband and narrowband networks are proposed. The proposed modifications will shoulder in sustainability oftelecommunication network, which is very vital during disaster mitigation, recovery and rehabilitation processes.The proposed models can be used to design better resilient telecommunication networks & disastercommunication systems for under developed mountainous regions in the world for sustainable development.Key Words: Disaster management, Information and communication systems, Telecom infrastructure,Balochistan, Floods, Telemedicine

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