The Department of Infectious Diseases (D.I.D.) was established in September 2017 at the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Institute of Trauma (SMBBIT). Infection Control is an integral part of Infectious Diseases, minimizing hospital-acquired infections and ensuring a safe environment.
The D.I.D. has rapidly expanded since its inception in 2017 and has several functions. First and foremost, it provides an Infectious Diseases consultation service to all specialties at SMBBIT and Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK). These consultations focus on diagnosis and management with emphasis on appropriate antimicrobial therapy.
The (D.I.D.) Fellowship Program was initiated at SMBBIT and CHK, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in January 2019. FCPS in Infectious Diseases is a second fellowship, and candidates are eligible if they have already completed FCPS in Internal Medicine. ID Fellows provide daily coverage in both SMBBIT and CHK. The Infectious Diseases Fellowship program will benefit these institutions for years to come and contribute to the country's pool of Infectious Diseases physicians.
The ID department is involved in teaching, both informally during rounds and consultations and through workshops, Infection Control Certification courses, and lectures, including those delivered to medical students at Dow University. An important yardstick to measure any department and Fellowship program is the quality of its research. The Infectious Diseases department has published and submitted original research papers, with several more studies currently ongoing. The ID
department also participates actively in the Ethical Review Committee established at SMBBIT in 2019, ensuring scientifically robust and ethical research in the institution.
The D.I.D. was put to the ultimate test during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the Department of Anesthesia, the 56 bedded COVID-19 Unit was established in April 2020, at the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 in Pakistan, absorbing the large numbers of patients with severe and critical COVID-19 who urgently required a higher level of care. The Infectious Diseases doctors also assumed responsibility for evaluating, counseling, and managing healthcare workers who develop COVID-19. COVID-19 related policies, management guidelines, and directives are regularly formulated and updated by the Department of Infectious Diseases.