Strategies to improve Karachi’s disaster response were discussed at a meeting at the Commissioner’s Office involving some 14 departments of the Emergency Response System and a team of Jinnah Sindh medical University’s collaborative project titled ‘Measuring Urban Capacity for Humanitarian Crisis’. Presided by the Commissioner Karachi Navid Ahmed Shaikh, the participants reviewed the research outcomes presented by JSMU’s APPNA Institute of Public Health and suggested measures like upgrading of various ambulance services in Karachi according to international standards and a formal system of accreditation of the ambulances to be introduced by the Commissioner’s office, said a statement here on Thursday. Professor Lubna Ansari Baig, Chairperson AIPH-JSMU said that ‘Measuring Urban Capacity for Humanitarian Crisis’ is a collaborative project between JSMU’s APPNA Institute of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The project is being conducted in three cities: Karachi, Pakistan; Port Harcourt, Nigeria; and Fortaleza, Brazil. Appreciating the research project, Commissioner Karachi said that the findings will help relevant departments to focus on the identified gaps and advised the project team to share the complete project report with all. Professor Lubna Baig added that an Emergency Management Agency should be established with a universal emergency helpline. She said this while presenting the outcomes alongwith the project team including Dr. Junaid Razzak and Mehjabeen Musharraf. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Stop the Bleeding initiatives should be introduced for the general public through mass media, she stressed. She focused on building a formal medical accreditation system of ambulances by the government. She also informed the audience that a City Emergency Health Response Capability Assessment tool has been developed to measure the lifesaving capability of urban health systems in the aftermath of a casualty. Professor Junaid Razzak, Director Center for Global Emergency Care at Johns Hopkins University, added that this tool will allow local governments to evaluate their emergency planning and humanitarian response. In a separate message, Vice Chancellor JSMU Professor S.M. Tariq Rafi has thanked Commissioner Karachi for his support and said, ‘This project is part of JSMU’s mission to provide modern and innovative solutions to society through relevant research.’ Fourteen departments of the Emergency Response System participated in the meeting including the Deputy Commissioners of All Karachi Divisions, the Cantonment Executive Officers of All Karachi Divisions, the Municipal Commissioners DMCs of All Karachi Divisions, Executive Director of Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr. Seemi Jamali and the project team of AIPH-JSMU’s Healthcare in Danger Project Lubna Mazharullah and Dr. Athar Hussain Memon. In 2019, JSMU had organized a drill to assess the city’s disaster preparedness in collaboration with the Commissioner Karachi Mr Iftikhar Shallwani. Earlier, around 60 representatives of civic agencies received capacity-building training, in preparation for the drill. The workshop was organized by the Commissioner’s Office under the supervision of experts from the John Hopkins University, JSMU and the ICRC.