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Enabling Access to Diagnostic Imaging in Khorog

Posted on Friday, 24 March 2017
Roshan Pirani (centre) with staff from the AKHS-T Khorog Clinic
Volunteer Name: Roshan Pirani
Role: Radiologist
Host Institution: Aga Khan Health Services, Tajikistan (AKHS-T), Khorog
Duration of Assignment: January 2014 – November 2014
The AKHS-T Diagnostic Unit, operational since 2012, has been providing general radiology, ultrasound and a variety of laboratory services. Patients from remote areas visit the facility to obtain medical services and, in late 2013, AKHS-T introduced new services such as CAT scans and Mammography in the pathology unit. Unfortunately, relevant training and knowledge in the field of CAT scan and mammography was not accessible locally.
Roshan Pirani has been working in the field of diagnostic imaging for over 30 years. She was also an Adjunct Professor for the CAT Scan Clinical Program at Houston Community College for 6 years. When she was offered the opportunity to travel to Khorog to share her knowledge and skills, she was excited about the prospect of stepping out of her comfort zone and training professionals who work in her field on the use of various diagnostic imaging technologies.
In January 2014, she travelled to Khorog’s Regional Diagnostic Unit and her primary responsibility was to develop the technical skills of the diagnostic imaging staff. She trained five Radiology staff on procedures to scan patients for CAT scan studies (with and without iodine contrast), mammography and x-rays. In addition to training, Roshan also prepared the staff for effective administration and management of the Unit. Technologists were trained on maintenance of their supply stock, how to work with the vendors in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) and Dubai, and how to ensure that inventory lists and vendor contact information is maintained.
As staff became more familiar with diagnostic imaging technologies available in Khorog, patients from all over the region preferred to visit Khorog’s Regional Diagnostic Unit. Roshan says “Dushanbe, the largest city in the country where scanners are readily available and studies are easily accessible, was no longer the place to get diagnostic imaging done… patients opted to come to Khorog because they knew AKHS had the most relevant technology and training to provide these services”. Roshan was extremely satisfied with the outcomes that resulted from her work in Khorog.
Later in 2014, Roshan returned to Khorog and trained the Radiology Staff (ultrasound, mammography, x-ray, CAT scan and radiology) on how to upload the patients’ images on a cloud based picture archiving system. Staff learned how to upload and manipulate the images and, most importantly, they were also trained on quality control of the images and how to finalize study results and being able to read the imaging. Once the studies were finalized, Radiologists in Khorog, Dushanbe, Atlanta and New Jersey read these studies and were able to consult remotely with each other. Roshan’s excellent time and knowledge contribution and commitment enabled the staff to be more successful in providing medical imaging services to residents in and around Khorog. “This was a very rewarding and fulfilling experience! I was so pleased that patients came from far away for imaging while I was there, and continued to do so after I left”.