Addressing Governance, Gender and Disasters in a Fragile Health System


This two-week tailor-made training  course was designed to provide staff at the Aga Khan University, Karachi (AKU) with both theory and practical tools for governance and gender mainstreaming within health systems, particularly with respect emergency response.

Redressing the balance in an ill-prepared health system

Pakistan is regularly confronted with natural disasters as well as conflict. As gender inequality is very prominent in Pakistan, this is affecting women and men differently. The health system is not sufficiently prepared to address the health problems that arise among women and men due to  these emergencies.

The faculty of Aga Khan University (AKU) are in a position to teach the next generation of health professionals how to improve governance and give gender factors more prominence in their teaching and research. In addition, AKU is itself actively involved in health programmes in response to emergencies. KIT was therefore approached by AKU and the World Health Organization (WHO) Pakistan to design this tailor-made course to improve governance and gender mainstreaming within AKU’s work, particularly with respect to emergency response.

Knowledge integrated into practice

From the feedback and evaluation, it was found that participants much appreciated the course. AKU staff are now in a position to integrate its concepts and theories into their own teaching, research and projects with one remarking that the “the much overlooked aspect of ‘gender’ will now be highlighted’’ in their work.