Aga Khan University Hospital and AKHS Hospitals First in Pakistan To Receive SafeCare Certification

FMIC first in Afghanistan to receive certification for high-quality healthcare


KARACHI:-  The Aga Khan Hospital for Women in Karimabad, Karachi and Aga Khan Maternal and Child Care Centre in Hyderabad, part of the Aga Khan University Hospitals (AKUH) network; and Aga Khan Medical Centre in Gilgit, part of the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) network, are the first hospitals in Pakistan to receive Level 5 SafeCare certification.

An initiative of Pharm Access, Joint Commission International (JCI), and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA), SafeCare is a methodology with international accredited standards, aiming to improve quality care in low- and middle-income countries, where 3.6 million people die every year because of low quality care. Level 5 status is given to institutions that demonstrate high-quality standards across the SafeCare Service Elements.


 “SafeCare certification is an endorsement that a health facility has met certain internationally recognized quality and safety standards for patient care,” said Dr Farhat Abbas, interim Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan University (AKU) Health Services in Pakistan. “In addition to the SafeCare certification, AKUH is also accredited by JCI, and its clinical laboratories are accredited by the College of American Pathologists for fast and accurate testing. These accreditations are a true testament to the high-quality of healthcare and patient safety we provide.”

The French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) in Kabul is the first hospital in Afghanistan to receive the SafeCare certification. The facility is managed by AKU.

While acknowledging the tireless efforts and dedication of the FMIC team, CEO Aziz Ahmad Jan termed SafeCare certification as a reward for the high-quality healthcare services being offered by FMIC over the past 16 years. “This is not the end, rather the beginning of a new journey for FMIC as an innovator, a role model and a source of knowledge that raises the standard of care and professionalism within FMIC and other health facilities in Afghanistan and beyond,” he said.

Speaking on what it means to receive the accreditation, Syed Nadeem Husain Abbas, Chief Executive Officer of AKHS, Pakistan commented, “We are very excited about receiving the SafeCare certification, as it brings us one step closer to the level of excellence in healthcare that we believe our communities need and which we aspire to deliver. Our aim now is to take the quality of our health services to the next level and to inspire other hospitals and medical centres in Pakistan to do the same.”

AKU and AKHS, both agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), work hand-in-hand to deliver high-quality health services across Pakistan. In addition to the main hospital in Karachi, AKU operates four secondary hospitals, as well as 290+ clinical laboratories and medical centres throughout the country. To further extend this network, AKHS operates 113 health facilities, including two comprehensive medical centres, across Pakistan.

“We are committed to providing patient safety and quality healthcare. With the addition of four hospitals in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the number of SafeCare-certified facilities in the AKDN health system has reached 38, including 34 medical centres in Kenya and Tanzania,” said Dr ZeenatSulaiman, Global Head of Quality, Clinical Programs and Projects at AKHS.

Poor healthcare in low- and middle-income countries leads to millions of preventable deaths each year. However, these countries historically have a shortage of institutions that rate, improve and incentivize healthcare quality. This is the gap where SafeCare steps in to intervene and innovate.

PharmAccess CEO Nicole Spieker welcomed the newly SafeCare-certified hospitals in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“For better patient care and safety, PharmAccess will continue to expand and scale its SafeCareprogramme to support healthcare facilities offering primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare in different regions. The Aga Khan hospitals have demonstrated that with dedication, quality of care is possible everywhere,” she said.

About Aga Khan University:

Aga Khan University is a pioneering institution of higher education whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the developing world and beyond, through world-class teaching, research and healthcare delivery. AKU educates students for local and global leadership from campuses and teaching hospitals in six countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. It generates new knowledge to solve problems that affect millions of people, especially the most vulnerable. The University is a private, not-for-profit institution and an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.

About Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan:

Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan (AKHS,P), an ISO 9001:2015 certified organisation, provides affordable health care services. AKHS,P provides equitable, service oriented, innovative and community-based health services through four strategic objectives: supporting government health policies and plans; supporting health needs of catchment and target populations; increasing sustainability of operations; and contributing to global standards in health and health care. For more information visit

About French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children

FMIC was established as an innovative four-way public-private partnership between the Governments of Afghanistan and France, La Chaine de l’Espoir “Chain of Hope”, and the Aga Khan Development Network. The Aga Khan University is managing this facility as part of AKDN initiative. FMIC is a 171-bed tertiary care hospital for adults, mothers and children, located in Kabul, Afghanistan providing access to Afghans from across 34 provinces with exemplary healthcare services.  FMIC diagnostics offer high-end imaging and state-of-the-art laboratory services; meeting the emergent needs of the Afghan populace. FMIC offers subsidized care through its Patient Welfare Support Programme to patients with no wherewithal to afford the cost of services. Between April 2006 and December 2021, FMIC has disbursed $44.1M in patient welfare support to over 635,000 patients. FMIC serves over 300,000 patients annually. Furthermore, FMIC has established a 40-bed Women’s and Children’s house to host ultra-poor patients and provide 100% free care including housing and transportation facilities.

About PharmAccess

SafeCare is part of PharmAccess, an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening health systems in sub-Saharan Africa, with offices in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.  The PharmAccess integrated approach addresses both the demand and supply side of the health care system and uses the opportunities that mobile technology and data provide to leapfrog development in health markets in sub-Saharan Africa. With the aim to inspire viable and resilient health markets that provide access to care for millions of people in Africa. Through public-private partnerships, PharmAccess focusses on promoting health insurance plans and other innovative demand-side financing options to protect people from financial hardship; introducing quality standards and improvement methodologies for health care providers through SafeCare; loans, business support, and investments for private health care providers through Medical Credit Fund; and introducing value-based health care solutions to empower patients, doctors and financiers alike.