The North to North Partnership for Health is a strategic health link between NHS in Yorkshire and Humber, North West and Scotland to the north of Pakistan. In October 2005, a major earthquake hit northern Pakistan killing 75,000 people and leaving thousands injured and homeless. There was an immediate and huge response from the Yorkshire and the Humber and North West regions, both of which have large populations with ancestral links to the affected area. The earthquake devastated the local healthcare system and the NHS in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West played a key role in the emergency response.
Dialogue continued between the two NHS regions and the Government of KPK and Punjab on establishing a long term strategic partnership between our provinces/regions. In May 2007, we visited KPK to explore this with the Provincial Government’s Department of Health, leaders in KPK’s main hospitals, universities, the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), and local voluntary organisations.
We wish to develop a long term partnership of equals with focused outcomes and supporting existing arrangements. The benefits to KPK will be in supporting achieving WHO sustainability goals by 2030. The benefits to the NHS will include better understanding and engagement with local communities of Pakistani (as well as other developing countries) origin and developing better skills for managing emergency responses (such as an influenza pandemic).