USEFP’s Fulbright and UGRAD alumni have always been at the forefront of innovation and civic engagement. During the Covid-19 crisis, many alumni have stepped up to offer support and help their communities. Some of these alumni and their contributions are listed below:
Dr. Muhammad Zaeem Zia: Fulbright alumnus, Dr. Muhammad Zaeem Zia is leading from the front in efforts to control the Coronavirus outbreak. As a District Health Officer in the Ministry of National Health Services, Government of Pakistan, Dr. Zia is ensuring that preventive measures against Covid-19 are in place and that primary health care facilities are available for the residents of Islamabad.
He is a medical practitioner, who was the recipient of the Fulbright Award and completed his Master’s in Public Health from the University of Oklahoma in 2011-2013. Dr. Zia has also served as District Coordinator, for the National Program on Family Planning and Primary Health Care in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dr. Muhamad Moiz & Rana Muhammad Umar: As Pakistan prepares to deal with the growing number of Coronavirus cases, Fulbright alumni Dr. Muhammad Moiz and Rana Muhammad Umar helped the Sindh Government establish the country’s first drive-thru testing facility in Karachi. The newly established Coronavirus testing center follows international standards to test suspected patients, without them having to wait in long queues or visit hospitals. Commenting on his work, Dr. Moiz said, “Working in a pandemic directly isn’t something I had imagined, but it happened. Everything is up in the air but bringing a method to this madness has been an extremely exciting cerebral challenge.”
Dr. Moiz received the Fulbright Award and completed his Master’s in Global Health Policy from George Washington University. He is currently working as Program Manager at the Global Health Directorate of the Indus Health Network, Karachi.
Rana Muhammad Umar received the Fulbright award and is a graduate of Georgia Tech University. He is currently serving as Assistant Commissioner, Civil Line, South Karachi.
Dr. Umair Hashmi: Fulbright PhD alumnus Dr. Umair Hashmi, along with students and alumni from NUST, is conducting an analysis of Covid-19 spread at the district-level and its management assessment in Pakistan. The online countrywide survey, available here, will enable the National Institute of Health (NIH) and concerned departments in identifying regions where the probability of Covid-19 spread is higher. Not only will the data be useful for performing predictive analytics and temporal trend analysis, but it will also be made available to other researchers.
Dr. Hashmi completed his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Oklahoma on a Fulbright scholarship, and is currently working as an assistant professor at NUST.
Mohammad Aleem: UGRAD alumnus, Mohammad Aleem and his colleague, Rahul Raj, have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help diagnose Coronavirus as the Pakistani government faces a shortage of test kits. Aleem while speaking to Gulf News, shared that “The AI-powered deep learning model that we have developed from scratch can help detect Covid-19 with 92 per cent confidence using computed tomography (CT) scan of lungs.”
Aleem is a final year mechanical engineering student at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI) and spent a semester at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana on the Global UGRAD Exchange Program.
Dr. Muhammad Zia Ul Haq: Fulbright alumnus, Dr. Muhammad Zia Ul Haq is part of the National NMU Telemedicine Center for Corona Epidemic Control initiated by his alma mater Nishtar Medical University, in Pakistan. Being a physician, Dr. Haq assists people who seek preventive advice, outdoor care, or Covid-19 updates, free of cost. This initiative not only helps facilitate people, but also prevents overcrowding of hospitals by patients with chronic and minor conditions.
Dr. Haq worked as a medical officer for two years before he received the Fulbright Award to pursue Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology at Emory University.
Dr. Muhammad Farhan: Global UGRAD alumnus, Muhammad Farhan is working as a surgical resident in Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar. In the current Covid-19 pandemic, Farhan is performing round the clock duty with the hospital triage team. His role is to rapidly examine and screen in the influx of patients seeking medical attention in the Emergency Room. Upon receiving test results, he places each patient in the appropriate wards for treatment. “I am a doctor by profession, working as a surgical resident in Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar. My team and I, like any other doctor, is doing whatever it takes to help the patients recover and get home to their families.”