Secretary Health, Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr. Mir Waqar Ahmed, inaugurated a new data centre in Gilgit, under the Hayat initiative. Funded jointly by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Grand Challenges Canada, the Hayat initiative has been implemented by Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan, in collaboration with the Aga Khan University, since 2019 in the Ghizer District of Gilgit-Baltistan and select areas of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Waqar Ahmed said: “The Hayat Project was the first of its kind in Gilgit-Baltistan. The Project has been rolled out in Ghizer District and has greatly aided the collection of health-related data and its analysis.” The data centre was designed by the Aga Khan University, in collaboration with Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan, for the Department of Health, Gilgit-Baltistan. Complete with a server, a server room, desktop computers, network switches and other hardware, the data centre has been set up to facilitate the Department of Health, Gilgit-Baltistan in continuing operations of the Hayat Project independently, beyond the funding period. “This data centre is the next step in making the Hayat initiative sustainable and to facilitate our government partners in playing a key role to digitize critical health related data for more efficient analysis,” said Nadeem Abbas, CEO of Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan. The Hayat Initiative is designed and led by the Aga Khan University with an aim to facilitate accountability, transparency and governance mechanisms in health systems at district and provincial levels. It includes a mobile application called Hayat, which allows health workers to digitally record and maintain patient records, and conduct awareness sessions on imminent health issues, such as the importance of immunization, child nutrition, reproductive health and maternal care. Hayat also includes a robust, data-driven web portal, which was developed in close collaboration with the government, that facilitates remote monitoring of the data. “The data centre will streamline data collection activities and also build technical capacity of the health workforce of the Department of Health, GB, enabling them to continue Hayat and other digital health projects. Overall, it will function as a nucleus for all digital health activities in the region,” said Saleem Sayani, Director, Digital Health Resource Centre and the Technology Innovation Support Centre at the Aga Khan University. As the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the integrated processes in place with Hayat, enabled Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan to efficiently liaise and coordinate with the departments of Health in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to elicit a timely and efficient response. Hayat enabled the delivery of key messages for preventive measures against Covid-19 to people living in remote and far-flung areas. Approximately, 565 health workers in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral are using the Hayat application for collecting key data related to maternal and child healthcare, which includes, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and immunisation and child growth services in remote communities.