Aga Khan University set to expand
By Jami Makan, The Citizen Correspondent, Nairobi
The Aga Khan University (AKU) plans to expand its activities in East Africa, it was announced here yesterday.
"Over the next 10 years, AKU will be investing significantly to meet the region's needs for tertiary education," the university's president, Mr Firoz Rasul, said during this year's graduation ceremony.
The private university, which also celebrated its 25th anniversary, will establish a new Faculty of Health Sciences in Nairobi, where teaching is scheduled to begin in 2010. It will also build new facilities in Tanzania, Mr Rasul said.
More than 180 Kenyans earned degrees in nursing and medicine during AKU�s fifth graduation ceremony in Nairobi.
The private institution seeks to play a bigger role in the region's health sector, with plans to build new facilities in Tanzania and establish a Faculty of Health Sciences in Nairobi.
The German Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Walter Lindner, and Russian envoy Valery Yegoshkin were among the dignitaries present, as the smiling graduates received certificates from Mr Rasul, who urged them to strive and give back something to their communities.
"Make an impact wherever you go; an impact that is reflective of the personal development, good friendship and intellectual growth you gained at AKU," he said during the ceremony.
The chief guest, Mr Joseph Massaquoi, of Unesco, delivered a similar message. He asked the new graduates to remain in East Africa, calling the movement of health workers to the developed countries a disappointing trend.
According to a 2006 report by the World Health Organisation, such movements�collectively referred to as the "brain drain"� are costly, depriving Kenya, Tanzania and other African countries of rural health services, tax revenue and professional role models.
"Our study estimated the economic loss incurred by Kenya as a result of emigration of one doctor to be about $517,931 and one nurse to be about $38,868," the researchers stated.
During yesterday's ceremony, 85 registered nurses received Bachelor of Science degrees, while 94 got special diplomas in either community health or emergency care.
The programme, which has additional teaching hubs in Dar es Salaam and Kampala, allows working nurses to study part-time.
After training for at least two years, they are tested by external examiners from countries such as the Philippines, South Africa and Pakistan to ensure they meet international standards.
Members of this year's graduating class work at big public and private hospitals in Nairobi, as well as a variety of district hospitals and charity health centres outside the capital city.
One works for the United Nations in Garissa, while the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Public Health were also represented. Six doctors received post-graduate degrees in medicine, after spending four years specialising in general surgery, radiology or internal medicine.
During the proceedings, they wore green robes embroidered with ornate gold stitching just like the nurses, but with round green caps instead of white ones.
The Working Group for Women at Aga Khan University invites you to Women Inc., an interactive session with inspiring women leaders from Pakistan on March 31, 2009.
Time and Venue
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Dr Zaira Wahab
Head MPhil and PhD Programme, Iqra University
Ms Zehra Mehdi
General Manager CSR, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation
Ms Alia Shahid
Chief Program Manager, Reform Support Unit, Education and Literacy Department
For any further information, please contact:
Dr Anita Allana
Coordinator, Working Group for Women
Tel: +92 21 486 4413
53 Nurses and 98 Midwives graduate from Ghazanfar Institute of Health Sciences in Kabul
March 31, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Afghanistan, Aga Khan University, Asia.
Afghan nurses attend a graduation ceremony in Kabul on March 29, 2009. Some 53 nurses and 98 midwives graduated from Ghazanfar Institute of Health Sciences, supported by The Aga Khan University in Karachi and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) during a graduation ceremony in Kabul. MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
Aga Khan University offering study courses in Muslim cultures
LONDON, April 8 (APP): Aga Khan University in collaboration with its Canadian counterpart is offering a short 12‑day intensive courses on Muslim cultures at its Central London premises from July 20.
Abdou Filali‑Ansary,Director, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, AKU, said Tuesday the short courses seek to promote a sound understanding of Muslim cultures through an intellectually stimulating and inspiring survey of the histories and cultures of Muslims using the tools of the social sciences and humanities.
The Canadian institute involved in partnership is the Vancouver‑based Simon Fraser University.
The Director further said the Programme has been designed with a good mix of classroom and off‑site activities.
“It is ideal for those seeking a short but comprehensive introduction to multi‑faceted nature of Muslim cultures. Topics such as the context of pre‑Muslim Arabia, the foundational sources of Islam, political developments, the making of the legal thought, the flourishing artistic and scholarly environment, the engagement with modern ideas and institutions and key contemporary issues will be discussed during the Programme.”
According to Ansary, faculty from AKU‑ISMC, SFU, and other academic institutions will be teaching in the Programme that concludes on July 31 with the certificate awarding ceremony.
Expressions of Diversity:
A Contemporary Introduction to Muslim Cultures
Programme Schedule and Session Descriptions
About the Organisers
Registration and Fees
Offered by AKU-ISMC and the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (CCSMSC) at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, the Summer Programme is ideal for those seeking a comprehensive and interactive contemporary introduction to Muslim cultures. The underlying principle of the Programme is that education about cultures is a necessary precursor to the enhancement of intercultural dialogue.
To this end, Programme participants will engage with wide-ranging topics such as arts and architecture, civil society, ethics, law, literature, mysticism and Qur’anic studies. By addressing various elements of the history, cultures and contemporary challenges of Muslim societies, participants will:
Understand the chronological framework of the history of Muslims;
Grapple with the contested nature of concepts, practices and interpretations;
Learn about tensions between traditions and dissent in Muslim contexts;
Become familiar with diverse artistic and literary expressions;
Reflect upon contemporary debates about the role of religion, including the rise of extremism;
Consider the future prospects of and challenges within Muslim societies.
The Talloires Network and the MacJannet Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the first annual MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship. After receiving 67 nominations from 40 universities in 19 countries, the MacJannet Prize Selection Committee has chosen the following programs:
The first place winner, which will receive $5,000, is the Urban Health Program based in Aga Khan University in Pakistan. This innovative and long-standing program run by Aga Khan University's Department of Community Health Sciences provides critical health and socio-economic support to the squatter settlements of Karachi.
Administrators at Aga Khan University founded the program in 1983, when public health efforts received little attention from other Pakistani universities. Since the establishment of the Department of Community Health Sciences, whose mandate was to help develop community-based knowledge and skills among its students, many other medical schools have used the Urban Health Program as a model for their own public health work. Indeed, the program is a model for all sustainable university-based civic engagement programs. The communities involved have been mobilized to form their own management organizations and initiate micro-credit and skill building projects. Many graduates, inspired by their hands-on work through the Urban Health Program, now serve in ministries of health or find other ways to continue their commitment to public health and poverty alleviation. The $5,000 monetary prize will be used to further the program's inspiring work. Learn more at the Urban Health Program website>>
Medical studies and research from Aga Khan University
April 22, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Aga Khan University, Asia, Health, Pakistan.
Alzheimer Disease Genetics; Research on Alzheimer disease genetics detailed by scientists at Aga Khan University
Researchers from Aga Khan University, Medical Department describe findings in pharmaceuticals
Aneurysm; Studies from Aga Khan University in the area of aneurysm described
Aga Khan University (AKU), based in Karachi, is in the process of creating a Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).
AKU has established an international reputation for innovation and rigour in medical, nursing and teacher education at both undergraduate and graduate levels and in its developmental and training work for schools, including a very successful Master's programme. It currently operates on 11 campuses in Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and the United Kingdom, and has programmes in Syria and Afghanistan.
Early in the next decade, AKU will open a residential Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) that will provide a general education curriculum at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It will develop a new breed of leaders, in government and business, who are equipped with critical-thinking and problem-solving capabilities, and a global outlook.
This new campus, to be located on 1,100 acres on the outskirts of Karachi, will offer a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, from archeology to quantum physics, from music to South Asian history. In the first phase, FAS will enroll 1,500 undergraduate and 100 postgraduate students. Undergraduates will receive an education which encompasses the natural and social sciences, alongside the humanities. Teaching will be student-centred and will draw on the latest tools of information technology. Students will begin with a broad core curriculum and then proceed to a single or dual area of concentration for advanced work. Special encouragement will be given to interdisciplinary work.
A new campus in East Africa will serve as AKU'S principal site for the region and will support existing nursing and medical education programmes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The campus will serve the University's planned academic programmes in the liberal arts in East Africa. Students from all over Africa and beyond are expected to enroll. These developments would be in addition to the already significant investments in medical education planned for the Nairobi campus.
Expansion at these two new main campuses is expected to double the student body and triple the size of the overall physical campus.
The University is in the process of developing institutional strategies for a number of new graduate disciplines which will be located either in Karachi or in East Africa. These are likely to include Architecture and Human Settlement; Government, Civil Society and Public Policy; Media and Communications; Leisure and Tourism; and Education and Human Development.
Coastweek -- The International Cancer Nursing Symposium themed "Building Capacity to Deal with the Challenges of Cancer in Kenya " has opened at Aga Khan University Hospital , Nairobi (AKUH, N).
The five day workshop brings together 150 nurses from Kenya , Uganda , Tanzania , Rwanda and visiting Faculty from Toronto , Canada to deliberate on ways of enhancing the education of nurses in cancer care in Africa .
In an opening address, Prof. Margaret I. Fitch, RN PhD Head, Oncology Nursing Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto , Canada ; Past President, International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care and a visiting Faculty of Aga Khan University, noted the key role played by nurses across the cancer continuum.
"Death from chronic diseases such as cancer is rapidly increasing in low and middle income countries and there is a need for continued global partnerships and nursing collaborations in Research, Education, Policy Development and Practice", she emphasized.
Ahead of the completion of the Heart and Cancer Centre scheduled to open early 2010, Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, in collaboration with The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care aims to lay a foundation for the future by creating a pool of cancer nurses whose knowledge and skills have an impact in their practicing environment and on the patient's outcomes.
The first of its kind in East and Central Sub-Saharan Africa, AKUH, N Heart and Cancer Centre will serve as the regional referral heart and cancer centre providing high quality tertiary cardiac and cancer care, including training and research.
AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY : Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University (AKU) is a non-denominational institution open to all, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, gender or national origin or financial standing.
The University's admission policy is needs-blind and based on merit.
Aga Khan University Hospital , Nairobi (AKUH, N) is a private, not-for-profit teaching and referral institution that provides secondary and tertiary level health care services.
Celebrating 50 years, AKUH, N is committed to building capacity in East Africa by enhancing the number of qualified professionals in East African region that has long suffered from workforce attrition and an increasing disease burden.
AKU has established an international reputation for innovation and rigor in medical, nursing and teacher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels and in its developmental and training work for schools.
It currently operates eleven teaching sites in eight countries including Tanzania , Kenya , Uganda , Egypt , Pakistan , the United Kingdom , Syria and Afghanistan .
AKU is a part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East .
The Network's nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion.
The AKDN's underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society.
Children exposed to tobacco smoke are at a higher risk of asthma attacks, said Aga Khan University (AKU) Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Head Dr Javaid Khan at a seminar held at AKUH to commemorate World Asthma Day on May 5.
He further said that Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes breathlessness and wheezing and is most common among children. In Pakistan, about 11 per cent children and 5 per cent adults suffer from asthma. He also called on the government to implement the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance, passed in 2002, which calls for a ban on smoking at all public places, including restaurants and public transport.
AKU Consultant Immunologist and Allergist Dr Asif Imam said asthma attacks can be triggered by a number of factors that include insects, animals or inhaled allergens such as dust mites, pollen and tobacco smoke.
Department of Medicine Associate Professor Dr Nawal Salahuddin agreed and stressed that the goal of asthma treatment is to achieve and maintain control of the disease.
Book review: Madrassa versus enlightenment —by Khaled Ahmed
Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan’s Madrassas;
By Saleem H Ali: OUP 2009;
Pp214; Price Rs 495
Saleem H Ali has emerged as an informed and credible commentator on Pakistan, writing his column in Daily Times especially on things relating to Pakistan’s radicalising religious institutions. This book has come out of his fieldwork in Pakistan and is a valuable addition to our knowledge of the madrassa systems here.
At the time of independence in 1947, there were only 137 madrassas in Pakistan. According to a 1956 survey, there were 244 madrassas in all of Pakistan (excluding East Pakistan). While there is no comprehensive census of madrassas in Pakistan at present, a reasonable estimate based on Ali’s review of multiple empirical and journalistic sources would suggest that there between 12,000 and 15,000 madrassas in Pakistan, with an enrolment of around 1.5 and 2 million.
In contrast, there are approximately 15,000 government schools with an enrolment of around 16 million, and 35,000 secular private schools with an enrolment of 6 million, and 25,000 auqaf or mosque schools (not madrassas) with an enrolment of around 1.5 million (p.25). There are other sources inside Pakistan who insist that the madrassa is too large and too variegated to be counted accurately; they say total number of madrassas could go up to 22,000!
Do we hate madrassas? Some of us do because we can’t seem to convince anyone that they are dangerous. Those who sympathise with them despite clear research-proved evidence of extremism in them consciously support the expanding ability of the madrassas to reject the state of Pakistan. The xenophobic mindset is in the ascendant. Those who hate foreign-linked institutions far outnumber those who are leery of the madrassas.
The Aga Khan Board controversy started when President Musharraf signed an executive order (the Presidential Ordinance of November 8, 2002; CXIV/2002) inducting the Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKUEB) into the national education system. The AKUEB was selected due to its excellent record in higher learning and would join the existing 24 examination boards nationwide. It was given the task of upgrading and modernising the declining standards of education and of holding examinations for private educational institutions.
The religious parties objected because the Aga Khan’s followers are Ismailis who are not accepted as Muslims in the conservative circles. They added to the suspicion of examinership the involvement of the US in funding. USAID, in funding some of the educational programmes of the Aga Khan Foundation, including a $4 million grant for the establishment of the examination board, raised the hackles of opponents of the Ismailis.
Sectarian politics was once again sparked by rhetoric from the leading madrassa Dawat wal Irshad in Muridke. In the internet edition of its weekly publication Ghazwa (November 4, 2004), the madrassa warned against the converting the Northern Areas into an Ismaili state. Hafiz Saeed wrote: “Musharraf is working on making the Northern Areas an Ismaili state. He has been pressured by Christina Rocca (former US assistant secretary of state for South Asia) to hand over Kashmir to Prince Karim Aga Khan so that he could annex it with the Northern Areas and make it his fiefdom”. Author Ali thinks that this kind of conspiracy-mongering by the madrassa was “disturbingly similar to the campaign against the Ahmedis”. (p.113)
The book finds the jihadists also providing self-selected surveys against Ismailis. Thus the Daily Jasarat reported (December 19, 2004): According to a survey by the Islami Jamiat-e Tulaba (IJT), 854,000 people have rejected the Aga Khan Board examination system called AKB. There was only a certain amount of popularity of AKB in Sindh while elsewhere 93.02 per cent rejected the AKB. Director of the Khair-ul-Madaris in Multan, Maulana Hanif Jalandhari, accused the government of inconsistency — trying to give independence to the Aga Khan Boa while restricting madrassa procedures.
However, the major difference between the Aga Khan Board and the madrassa system is that the exam criteria for the Aga Khan programme, and indeed all private schools, are still subject to government approval, whereas the madrassa programmes at present have no government oversight (p.113). But madrassas have other leverage too because of the support they get from the religious parties. In March 2004, the MMA, the alliance of five religious parties, disrupted National Assembly proceedings and staged a walkout protesting the exclusion of certain Quranic verses from the new edition of a state-prescribed biology textbook.
The clerics threatened the government upon which the federal education minister Zubaida Jalal immediately clarified that no chapter or verses relating to jihad or Holy War or shahadat (martyrdom) had been deleted from textbook and that the particular verse referring to jihad had only been shifted from the biology textbook for intermediate students (Classes XI and XII) to the matriculation level course (Class X). Why should jihad or shahadat be mentioned in a biological textbook? (p.115)
The book sees that ‘highly negative material is presented regarding minority religious groups’, particularly Hindus and Jews. This is what the government needs to correct, ‘but hate mongering should not be conflated with an immediate reduction in Islamic curricular content as it is likely to lead to neither policy being implemented’. Both hate speech and Islamic content have collectively been the focus of extensive criticism in Pakistan by secular NGOs such as the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), whose report titled Subtle Subversion (2004) had created quite a storm in Pakistan (p.115).
Saleem H Ali says: “When I interviewed Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi [of Red Mosque or Lal Masjid] in the winter of 2004, he came across as someone who regarded most foreign researchers with suspicion and felt that Islamabad was being indoctrinated by foreign elements. There was little doubt that this was a madrassa with a mission of sanctimonious reform of the urban corridors of power. The governing board of madrassas was well aware of this radicalisation but kept a low profile on the matter until early 2007 when they finally expelled the Red Mosque family of madrassas from their board.” (p.173)
Maulana Ghazi’s students had taken out their anger several years earlier on the local market in Islamabad containing Melody Cinema after the killing of a notable religious cleric to send a message to the government which was never really interested in reading them. After the 2007 confrontation, the author was handed a flier by a youth lamenting the Red Mosque siege and calling for a national uprising against the government.
The pamphlet contained the other exhortation of a caliphate and termed readership in Urdu as ‘Ahl-e-Quwwat’, meaning ‘People of Power’, and exhorted them to join together to establish the authority of Islam, indicating that ‘no other form of governance was acceptable to them’. The note was signed Hizb-al-Tahrir — a well-known militant organisation that has its roots in the United Kingdom.
Author Ali recommends that all madrassas may be shown the Quranic verse Sura 2 Verse 52 which states quite clearly that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ (p.177), but the fact is that during the Lal Masjid showdown a TV reporter did ask the danda-bearing girls of the seminary about this very verse. The answer was rehearsed: it applies only to the non-Muslims. In other words, the concessionary verse is for the non-Muslims. Once you become a Muslim, you will be coerced against munkiraat and coerced in favour of marufaat. And this goes into far more detail than just pornography. You can be whipped for shaving.
One agrees with the author when says: “Like the famous Stockholm prisoner, many in the Frontier became so entranced with these intellectual incarcerators that they actually began to like them. The educated class began to believe that somehow the fanatics must be correct — for they had a contorted courage of conviction that made them appear like mythical super-heroes.” *
International Nurses Day
International Nursing Symposium on Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Care Innovations
June 6, 2009
Aga Khan University Department of Continuing Professional Education in collaboration with Division of Nursing Services and School of Nursing announces International Nursing Symposium on Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Care Innovations to mark International Nurses Day on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
Time and Venue
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
AKU Auditorium, Karachi, Pakistan
Call for Abstracts
Scientific Committee of International Nursing Symposium is pleased to invite abstracts on the following sub-themes:
Veteran mountaineer and environmentalist Nazir Sabir speaks at the Aga Khan University
May 9, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Aga Khan University, Asia, Ismaili Muslims in the News, Pakistan.
DAWN.com: Walking in the shadow of giants – By Qasim A. Moini
KARACHI: Veteran mountaineer and environmentalist Nazir Sabir makes climbing 8,000-metre-plus mountains sound a lot easier than it actually is. At least this is how it appeared during a lecture he delivered on Thursday as he took all those present on a virtual tour of the Roof of the World by relating the many adventures he has had in his over three-decade-long career scaling the mighty peaks of the Karakoram and the Himalaya ranges, among others.
Renowned Pakistani mountaineer and environmentalist Nazir Sabir, the first Pakistani to stand at the summit of Mount Everest, lamented that his country, despite hosting some of the world’s highest peaks, lacks national patronage that could establish a mountaineering institute.
Health professionals cite need for more degree, certification programmes
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
By By Farooq Baloch
“There is a need of trained nurses, and thus we should have certification and recertification programmes for nurses at national level,” said Aga Khan University BSc Nursing Programme Director Jacqueline Dias while talking to The News on the eve of International Nurses Day.
Dias said that there is a need for teachers’ strategic human resource development programme to meet the shortage of trainers. There is no legislation regarding nurses training, she said, and added that all nursing schools should have accreditation with the concerned regulatory authority.
Dias said that as far as nursing is concerned, quality, monitoring and evaluation had been missing in the past, while any one completing a nine-month diploma could become a nurse. However, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has sanctioned a national curriculum for nursing courses, which is being implemented for the first time. She also said that there is an improvement as they have switched from diploma to a four year BSc programme.
Talking about the shortage of nurses, she optimistically said that due to mushrooming of nursing schools in Sindh and Punjab, more people are joining this profession. The importance of nurses is being realised now since they can also bring foreign exchange by working in the Middle East and other countries.
Experts claim that the country is facing a huge shortage of trained nurses, and the government should take practical measures in this regard. According to Pakistan Nursing Council statistics of 2007, only 2343 nurses, 2285 midwives and 911 leady health visitors were trained in Pakistan. “There should be eight nurses to one doctor but in our country there is only one nurse for every 15 doctors, and this is a very poor ratio and clearly demonstrates the shortage of nurses,” said Pakistan Medical Association Karachi General Secretary Dr Samrina Hashmi.
There are only about 13 training centers in all over Pakistan despite the fact that we need a whole army of paramedics and nurses, she said. “Without nurses we can’t meet the needs of the community because once a doctor has done his job, it is over to the nurses or leady health visitors to continue serving the community,” she continued.
She pointed out that nurses in Pakistan are facing so many problems, especially in terms of meeting their financial needs. She cited the example of the Civil Hospital Karachi, where nurses have not been promoted since 1992. Additionally, the stipend given to nurses is Rs1600 which is very small given that they perform 12 hours duty. There are about 160 posts of nurses that have been lying vacant in the CHK for a long time but no postings have been made on the same.
Responding to a question about the shortage of nurses and low stipends, Dr Samrina Hashmi said, “We have a small health budget, which is 0.5 per cent of the GDP.” She further said that by the time the amount reaches the right place, only 10 percent of that 0.5 percent is left for the health sector. “We can not encounter these problems unless the budget is increased,” she commented.
Nurses are hardworking but due to our poor structure they are not given good stipend, and those who some how get professionally trained move abroad to meet their economic needs, she concluded.
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