The Amal Umer Crisis

  • Client Aman Foundation
  • Category Crisis Counselling and Management

Amal Umer crisis

  • In August 2018, Aman Health faced an unexpected crisis when an article titled How the system failed us appeared in EOS (Dawn).
  • The article was penned by Beenish Umer, who essentially lost her 10-year-old daughter Amal Umer in cross-firing during a mugging incident and mentioned Aman Health in a negative manner as they were called to send an ambulance.
  • The child was still breathing when taken to National Medical Center, who refused to treat her and advised a hospital transfer.
  • Since Aman Health operated the only life-saving ambulances in the city (and country), a call was made to them by the hospital but handed the phone to the mother.
  • Following international protocols, a few questions were asked by the operator to determine the criticality of the case and advise accordingly. The child required a ventilator to be kept stable, without which transferring her to another hospital was highly risky. The same was communicated to the mother, who then made the arrangements. However, Amal passed away before the ambulance could reach her.
  • This resulted in a lot of negative backlash (on social and mainstream media) for Aman Health. People criticized the service for being insensitive towards the mother during the emergency by asking her a number of questions and not dispatching an ambulance immediately.
  • APR was asked to provide PR counselling, crisis communication and media management.

APR’s crisis counseling

  • Immediately do an internal facts check, but meanwhile post an interim response on social media.
  • Once all facts were determined, a holding statement with clarifications was posted on social media. Key influencers who had criticized Aman Health were tagged, and most of them agreed with Aman’s points.
  • All media outlets were closely monitored during this period. Those who covered the issue and mentioned Aman Health were reached out to and requested to give Aman representatives an opportunity to present their side of the story.