The Aga Khan is building a new liberal arts
campus on the outskirts of Karachi. The campus'
mission emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking and
seeks to encourage people of different
backgrounds to learn from each other and bring a
new generation of leadership in addressing global
economic, social, cultural and environmental
challenges. To support this new campus, the Aga
Khan commissioned planning for a new "university
village" for more than 20,000 people that would
take its inspiration from Islamic city building
values of human scale, environmental fit, and
nuanced transitions between public and private
spaces. This village represents a "community of
learning" that through its planning both
addresses the realities of 21st life in Pakistan
and reinforces the campus' mission by fostering
informal interaction, shared civic experience,
and sense of connection to the surrounding
The AIA honored David Dixon FAIA with its Thomas
Jefferson Award for Òa lifetime of É significant
achievement in [creating]É livable neighborhoods,
vibrant civic spaces, and vital downtown. He is a
co-author of Urban Design for an Urban Century
Address by Mr Firoz Rasul
President, Aga Khan University
Chief Guest, Dr Maleeha Lodhi
Chairman Saidullah Khan Dehlavi
Members of the Board of Trustees of Aga Khan University
Faculty and Staff, Proud Parents and most important,
As Salaam Walaikum
Welcome to the 2009 AKU Convocation in Pakistan.
Beginning with the graduates and their families: congratulations! This is indeed a day of great celebration and pride for us all as you complete a significant milestone in your lives.
Today, 328 of you are graduating. From the Institute for Educational Development this morning, we have 40 students who have been awarded Master of Education degrees and 2 who were awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. From the School of Nursing, we have 3 students who will receive their Master of Science in Nursing, 47 who will receive their Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 37 who will receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and 85 who will receive their Diploma in General Nursing. From the Medical College this morning, we have 3 students who received PhDs in the Health Sciences, 4 students who received a Master of Science in Clinical Research, 13 students who received a Master of Science in Epidemiology & Biostatistics, 7 who received a Master of Science in Health Policy & Management and 87 new doctors with an MBBS who took their Oath to uphold the ethics of patient care.
Congratulations and gratitude to your families for their endless support. Sincere appreciation is also extended to the faculty for their knowledge, teaching, mentoring and skills.
Soon you will be conferred with an AKU degree that symbolises your mastery of your profession at a global standard of quality. This is an opportune moment to reflect on the value of that degree and the institution that stands behind it.
AKU has earned its reputation as a beacon of quality by using best practices, inculcating an ethical framework and clear values as well as through its commitment to community development. Over its more than 25-year history, it has worked to bridge the needs of the developing world with the advancements of the developed world, adapting them to fit our needs and societies.
Looking back over the course of our history, we see that the University has expanded its sites and extended its reach. Starting from this health sciences campus and the Institute for Educational Development site in Karachi, we now have multiple campuses in diverse geographies. We are offering programmes in East Africa and are engaged in educational and technical support programmes in countries such as Syria, Egypt and Afghanistan. All our campuses are focused on maintaining the high standards that carry the AKU name.
Under the vision and guidance of the Founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, along with the passionate engagement of our dedicated Trustees and the support of our donors, we have been able to bridge the knowledge gap that formed a vast divide between the best of the West and the needs of the East.
Today - due to the commitment of our faculty and the support of our partner universities, we are able to bring this knowledge to benefit those most in need. Let me take a moment to acknowledge the contributions of our partner universities who have willingly shared their knowledge and expertise allowing us to learn from their successes as well as their challenges. Institutions that have helped AKU include Harvard University, the Karolinska Institute, Oxford, McMaster University and the University of Alberta. Many of you will also have heard about the Aga Khan Development Network Memoranda of Agreement signed this year with both the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California at San Francisco. These universities and our other supporters have faith in our standards and our values and have helped AKU educate a generation of students that have in turn positively impacted their communities.
Having just returned from a Board of Trustees meeting, I was reminded again about the important role that AKU has played in the progress of the regions we serve. A great strength of AKU is our ability to engage with communities and our greatest opportunity is to assist and empower these populations to improve their quality of life. When I review the community-based efforts of our Medical School or the research efforts of the teachers from the Institute for Educational Development or the grassroots connectivity of our School of Nursing graduates, I am humbled by the opportunities the communities provide us. It is these opportunities that allow AKU to develop programmes and services to meet these needs, and to build in our graduates that sense of community commitment and social responsibility, which is a responsibility that the Chancellor has entrusted upon us.
AKU continues to bring best practices to improve our programmes and education. The establishment of the Skills Learning Centre in the Medical College that will house state-of-the-art virtual reality and simulation as well as a tele-learning facility for our students, residents and faculty will provide opportunities for enhanced learning and practice. And the introduction of the midwifery programmes, both at the BScN level and through integration with four community-based hospitals that AKU has taken under its wings, provides enhanced services for the families we strive to serve.
As you graduate today, remember you graduate from a university that is passionately committed to positively impacting society by upholding strong ethics and principles. You have already been part of this impact and now as alumni, it is indeed your responsibility to carry this forward. We look to you, our alumni, to be our ambassadors - both in how you perform, serve and contribute; but also in how you remain connected to AKU.
I wish you great success in your future endeavors. Some of you will work in Pakistan, some will pursue further studies, and some of you will move overseas. Regardless of where you are, I encourage you to uphold the ethics of AKU - to serve with compassion and commitment - to be generous with your knowledge, time and money and so that others may benefit from all that you have gained.
And stay connected to AKU - we encourage you to participate in the continued growth and evolution of AKU. You will always remain part of AKU and we hope that AKU will always remain a part of you.
Let me end by quoting His Highness the Aga Khan, our Founder and Chancellor, from his remarks made at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa in December, 2003:
"... it is my hope that it will be members of this new generation who, driven by their own wide knowledge and inspiration, will change their societies. These young men and women, I am sure, will become leaders in the governments and the institutions of civil society in their own countries, in international organizations and in all those institutions, academic, economic and artistic that create positive change in our world."
I look forward to hearing how well you have lived up to this hope in you. Thank you.
Director General, Planning and Development of Campuses
The Director General for the Planning and Development of Campuses is responsible for ensuring timely and effective implementation of Aga Khan University's Projects for the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) as well as for certain campuses outside Pakistan. This includes leading the planning and design process for the project, development and implementation of land acquisition strategies, developing tendering and construction strategies for the project, preparing the project execution plan and schedules for all aspects of the project. The Director General is also responsible for coordinating with the, academics team, finance and administration staff and other stakeholders in the project.
On an overall basis, the Director General also represents the team on Management and Board committees, especially the Facilities Committee (FC) and the University Oversight Committee (UOC).
Mr Nurmohamed, a Canadian citizen, has degrees in architecture from the University of Manchester, UK. He has over 32 years of experience with significant achievements as an Architect, Project Consultant and Director of Facilities Planning for large scale projects in Canada. Currently, with AKU, in Pakistan, he has the position of Director General, Planning & Development of Campuses and Project Director of Aga Khan University - Faculty of Arts and Sciences and in his capacity as Project Director AKU-FAS he is involved in leading and directing the master planning, design and project management in the development of the new campus in Education City, Karachi for FAS, graduate professional schools such as Architecture & Human Settlement and Education, and the adjacent ‘university village' providing housing and amenities for the FAS faculty, staff, students and graduate students as well as space for private research facilities and a conference centre and hotel.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka has been named a trustee of the Aga Khan University.
A letter from the Chancellor His Highness the Aga Khan said Mrs. Tibaijuka’s choice was based on her wide experience and deep understanding of issues affecting developing countries.
“Your deep understanding of the multiple complexities of developing countries, in addition to your familiarity with Africa, from issues at the grassroots to those on an international scale, and the breadth of experience in addressing these issues with government and civil society organisations will, I am confident, greatly benefit the Aga Khan University at this exciting time of its development,” the Aga Khan said.
Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the University has campuses and programmes in Afghanistan, East Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Syria and the United Kingdom.
Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Nursing Schools and a Medical College, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.
Mrs. Tibaijuka holds a Doctorate of Science degree in agricultural economics from the Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Uppsala. She is the first African woman elected by the UN General Assembly as Under-Secretary-General of a United Nations programme. She is currently serving a second, four-year term as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT.
A Tanzanian national, Mrs. Tibaijuka was born to smallholder banana-coffee farmers in Muleba. She has served as a Member of the Commission for Africa established by British Prime Minister Tony Blair which resulted in the cancellation of multilateral debt for several African countries by the G8 Summit in 2005 at Glen Eagles, Scotland. In July 2005 the Secretary General appointed Mrs. Tibaijuka as his Special Envoy on Human Settlements Issues in Zimbabwe following massive evictions of the poor in urban areas.
She is currently a member of the World Health Organization Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, and is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor, co-chaired by the former US Secretary of State, Ms. Madeleine Albright, and the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto.
Newborn mortality rate in Pakistan highest in Asia
Sunday, January 17, 2010
By By our correspondent
Improvements in immediate newborn care and interventions that target common killers like birth asphyxia offered in communities and rural health facilities can dramatically change the number of babies surviving their first month of life, said experts speaking at a seminar on strategies to improve newborn survival.
The seminar was hosted by Aga Khan University and Save the Children, an international NGO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s National Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programme and National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care.
“Newborn mortality rates in Pakistan are amongst the highest in Asia with the lowest rate of reduction. Within the newborn period, asphyxia, prematurity and sepsis account for almost 90 per cent of all deaths,” said Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Head, Division of Women and Child Health, AKU. This makes achieving the Millennium Development Goal 4, to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, quite challenging.
Health experts recommended investing in both community-based and outreach care and facility-based care. President of Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Shershah Syed while speaking about community interventions, said that the interventions would focus on encouraging families to seek care and teaching birth attendants immediate newborn care and resuscitation. Essential practices, such as drying and wrapping the baby immediately after birth and breastfeeding within the hour were also recommended along with the importance of recognising danger signs in newborns and quickly referring them to an appropriate health care provider or facility as needed.
Quoting the data compiled by the Demographic Health Survey (DHS), Dr Bhutta said that “Seventy per cent of all facilities in Pakistan do not have adequate equipment for newborn resuscitation,” and the need to provide proper equipment to those working at health facilities is becoming “necessary” by each passing day.
Through community engagement and a change in household behaviour and social culture patterns can create the demand for maternal and newborn care in community centres, if the doctors and policy makers are able to address the three main causes of death in newborns, that is diarrhoea, pneumonia and new born infections, 70 per cent of all newborn deaths can be avoided.
“This cannot be done by one organisation or one entity. We need to establish partnerships, develop coalitions and join hands to take this process forward. The Ministry of Health will lead this campaign and we need to support them in any way we can,” said Dr Amanullah Khan, Director Health, Save the Children.
While stressing the importance of public and private collaboration, he added that all stakeholders are responsible for improving child health in Pakistan. “We would like to see all the stakeholders – research institutions, the Ministry of Health, policy makers and implementers, all joining together to address newborn health in Pakistan,” said David Wright, Country Director, Save the Children.
However, when asked that why it is taking years to follow up goals that have been achieved by Bangladesh and other countries that are supposedly ‘lagging’ behind Pakistan, Dr Bhutta replied that Pakistan needs to take one step at a time and that through proper planning and consultation, these goals will be achieved. “It will take time but these goals are not impossible to achieve.”
Firoz Rasul is a natural optimist, who exudes enthusiasm, which is currently focused on the institution he leads.
We (together with a colleague) met with the Kenyan-born President of the Aga Khan University (AKU) to reflect on its accomplishments so far, and explore the university’s plans to accelerate growth in the region.
Mr Rasul informed us that the primary reason for his current EA tour (in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam) is one filled with a sense of accomplishment — the annual AKU EA Graduation celebrations.
“There is nothing more satisfying than to witness the triumphant faces of our graduates as they receive their diplomas and degrees — followed by the proud smiles and cheers of their parents, spouses and children” said Mr Rasul, “In East Africa, graduation is definitely a family achievement!”
This year, 246 students were awarded diplomas and degrees in education, nursing and postgraduate medical education. The graduates join 2085 East African AKU alumni who have received similar credentials since 2003.
“We are contributing to the development of East Africa with a high-quality educational institution, based in this region and addressing critical local issues from within the local context. With key university partners from the US, Canada, UK and Europe to help us incorporate international standards, we provide the best in the world to students who will not have to leave the region to participate in top notch intellectual and service pursuits. This way, we believe we will produce leaders who are committed to facing and resolving the East Africa’s major challenges” Rasul said.
The Aga Khan University and its Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, have a long and mutually beneficial history with East Africa.
The Chancellor’s grandfather, Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan established basic literacy and numeracy classes in 1895 in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. From this beginning, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has continuously expanded its services to include the Aga Khan schools, hospitals, community health centres and most recently the Aga Khan University. The AKDN agencies, inspired by the vision of the Aga Khan, serve the East African Community and other countries throughout the developing world.
The AKU’s presence in East Africa dates from 2001, when the University responded initially to requests by governments and nursing councils to establish an Advanced Nursing Studies programme in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Even then the aim was high: to address key problems in Eastern Africa pertaining to women’s development, building the human resources capacity for health services, and the need to develop leaders in these communities.
Since then, the university has added to its nursing education by developing graduate and certificate programmes. The Institute for Education Development provides leadership development to practicing teachers, administrators and policy-makers. Postgraduate medical education is offered in both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, to develop doctors with a focus on community and family medicine, a much-needed specialty for this region.
According to the president, “Our emphasis is on cultivating community developers, health services, the job-creators and nurturing thoughtful leaders from the most talented students in East Africa.”
As a university in and of the developing world, AKU is uniquely placed to empower its students to be thoughtful, responsive and creative leaders.
“We want to educate individuals who will become problem solvers who can function holistically, considering both local and global perspectives to find sustainable solutions to the myriad challenges facing the region; leaders who are morally grounded with ethics and integrity, knowing the needs of the community and its traditions and committed to living and working together to realise the hopes and dreams of East Africa.”
To achieve these ambitions, AKU plans to invest over $700 million to expand its facilities throughout the region. It will add more than 6,000 new jobs to the current 1800 already working for AKU in East Africa. Building on a 50-year foundation, providing quality healthcare at the AKU Hospital in Nairobi, the University will expand its offerings to include undergraduate education in Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health specialties.
Plans also include a Faculty of Arts and Sciences which will provide interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees and graduate professional programmes, evolving AKU into a broad, comprehensive university.
“There is tremendous promise in the East African region, stimulated by the creative, committed people who live here — They will be attracted to stay if there are equal or better opportunities than those abroad,” said Mr Rasul
The Georg Eckert Institute Welcomes Representatives from Aga Khan University
On 2nd February 2010, the Georg Eckert Institute welcomed high-ranking representatives of Aga Khan University, which holds faculties in Karachi, Sansibar and London, with a further branch currently under construction in Central Asia. The University’s President, Firoz Rasul, then Dean of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations in London, Farouk Topan, and the current Head of the Department for Curricula, Farid Panjwani, came to personally gather information about the Institute’s work and to discuss opportunities for future cooperation between the GEI and the University with the Institute’s research fellows.
For some time now, Aga Khan University has been the GEI’s immediate partner for the Internet project ‘1001 Ideas’, which has now been running successfully for several years. With this in mind, the project staff and university representatives had developed a cooperation proposal between ‘1001 Ideas’ and the London Institute prior to the visit. This proposal, together with other opportunities for academic partnerships, were the subject of talks between the visitors and the ‘1001 Ideas’ staff, Gerdien Jonker, Inse Böhmig and Felicitas Klingler, as well as the Head of the Project Area ‘Images’, Susanne Kröhnert-Othman, and Research Director Inga Niehaus.
Dr. Niehaus seized the opportunity to also present other GEI projects to our guests. Despite their busy schedule, the Aga Khan University representatives set aside time to peruse the library at length. The openness and cooperative nature of the meeting augurs well for further successful cooperation projects between Aga Khan University and the Georg Eckert Institute in the future.
The Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures
Simon Fraser University (SFU-CCSMSC)
The Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations
Aga Khan University (AKU-ISMC) present:
Expressions of Diversity: A Summer Programme on Muslim Cultures
Monday, July 19 – Friday, July 30, 2010
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Campus
At a time when there is a heightened demand for information about Muslims and their heritage, this Summer Programme provides an ideal opportunity to explore relevant subjects through the rigorous and unbiased approach of major academics from a variety of disciplines.
• Develop a critical-historical understanding of Muslim societies and cultures.
• Appreciate the contested nature of concepts, interpretations, and practices.
• Understand the formative context of Muslim civilization and its influences.
• Explore plural expressions of the history and religion of Muslims.
• Deliberate the range of interpretations concerning scripture and prophecy.
• Reflect on questions of authority and interpretation in religion, society, and gender.
• Appreciate the panoply of artistic and literary expressions of Muslims.
• Obtain timely skills related to contemporary debates concerning identity.
• Consider complexity and diversity in issues of diaspora.
• Ponder the contemporary challenges and future prospects of Muslims.
• Comprehend the diverse aspects of gender in Muslim contexts.
Recommended participants include students, educational and legal professionals, as well as members of NGOs, business, governmental, and other decision-making institutions.
The programme will be held from July 19 to July 30, 2010 at the SFU Vancouver campus.
• Duration: 2 weeks
• Application Deadline: April 30, 2010
• Scholarship Deadline: March 30, 2010
• Start: July 19, 2010
• Tuition Fees: $1100 / $700(conc.) / $650(conc.)
Please visit the website (http://www.sfu.ca/ccsmsc/summer2010) to find out more about the Programme and how you can submit your General Application now!
We look forward to hosting you this summer in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia!
With warm and kind regards,
Centre for the Comparative Study
of Muslim Societies and Cultures
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6
Tel 778 .782.5278
Fax 778. 782.5837
Coastweek -- Eight desktop computers delivered at Kwale Health Resource Center. Seen standing [from left] Galole Dima, District Public Health Nurse, Kwale district, Professor Yasmin Amarsi, Foundation Dean, Nursing and Midwifery, Aga Khan University, East Africa, Dr. Salim Omar, District Medical Officer Health, Kwale district, Dr. Amyn Lakhani, Director, Community Health Department, Aga Khan Health Service, Kenya, Ms. Martha Loefler, Assistant Professor, Advance Nursing Studies Program, Aga Khan University, East Africa.
to Government Kwale Health Resource Center
Coastweek -- The Advance Nursing Studies program of Aga Khan University (AKU- ANS), East Africa based in Nairobi donated eight ( desk top computers to Government Kwale Health Resource Center situated at District Medical Office in Kwale.
This donation is sponsored by Johnson and Johnson.
Dr. Salim Omar, District Medical Officer of Kwale received the computers.
The computers will be utilized by all health professionals and specially nurses when they are attending training sessions at the Resource Center.
A major training program for nursing staff in Coast province is initiated by the AKU- ANS .
There will be three short training courses of one week duration offered per year at Kwale.
While a long term two-year program for upgrading Enrolled Nurses to Registered Nurses will be offered at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kaloleni.
These short courses and the two year programs are sponsored by Lundin Foundation for Africa and is implemented by AKU- ANS with support from Community Health Department of Aga Khan Health Service, Kenya based in Mombasa.
Coastweek -- Computers installed at Kwale Health Resource Center.
Coastweek-- To extend the availability of quality healthcare services, the Aga Khan University Hospital , Nairobi , has opened a medical centre in Kitengela.
The medical centre will provide primary healthcare services, on-site laboratory testing using fully automated equipment for excellent quality, safety and a short turn around time.
There is a well stocked pharmacy with a wide range of medicines to match the doctor's choice of treatment.
The drugs are dispensed by registered and experienced pharmacists.
The clinic is located at Milele Centre next to Diamond Trust Bank on Namanga Road and is open from Monday to Saturday.
Jean Thairu, the Outreach Services manager explained, "In the past year, the Aga Khan University Hospital Outreach Programme opened two clinics in Kiambu and Prestige Plaza .
The Kitengela facility brings the total of these Outreach medical centres to fourteen."
"Other Medical centres include; Town clinic at Jubilee exchange building, Prestige clinic at prestige plaza Ngong Road, Burubru clinic at fairlane building above Uchumi supermarket Buruburu, Naivasha clinic next to Wambuku Hotel Naivasha, Ongata Rongai clinic at Ongata Mall and Kiambu clinic at Standard Chartered bank Kiambu Town."
"The Outreach programme was established to create wider access to quality, affordable primary healthcare. Our research has shown that the people of Kajiado South and its environs need this healthcare service close to them."
Other services available through Aga Khan University Hospital 's Outreach Programme are on-site testing laboratories and a laboratory collection centre.
These outlets offer routine and specialized laboratory investigations and are equipped with high end chemistry and haematology analyzer machines that can run 72 tests per hour.
These on-site facilities include Thika Satellite Laboratory located at the Thika Arcade Building , Nakuru Satellite Laboratory situated at Riva Business Centre, Eldoret at Eldo Mart Doctor's Plaza, Machakos Laboratory at Kitanga House. And Eastleigh Phlebotomy center at Amal plaza.
AKU wins SCUP Award... SCUP AWARDS and RECOGNITION PROGRAM
SCUP offers an awards program that recognizes excellence in planning, design and implementation efforts of firms and institutions, as well as the achievements of individuals whose lives and passions involve higher education.
SCUP 2010 Award Results
SCUP Excellence in Planning
Merit Award to The Aga Khan University for The AKU Faculty of Arts and Sciences University Village Land Use Plan, with Goody Clancy – Planning for a District or Campus Component
Kenyan heart patients enjoy free treatment
BY WAMBUI WAWERU
Updated : 1days and 2 hours and 12 minutes ago
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1/1Heart operation at AKUH
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1 - Thirteen heart patients this week underwent groundbreaking heart surgery at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).
The hospital hosted a visiting team of doctors from Lahey Clinic, in Boston, Massachusetts led by Dr. David Martin, a cardiac electrophysiologist.
The Boston team which comprised of two doctors accompanied by two electrophysiology technicians arrived in the country Sunday 25, and began operations on Tuesday.
"Cardiac electrophysiology is the science of elucidating, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart," explained Dr. Martin to Capital NewsBeat in the theatre during the last procedure performed on Friday morning.
"Most of what we've done is implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators and we've also performed catheter ablations and everything has gone very smoothly," said Dr. Martin.
"Abnormal heart rhythm referred to as arrhythmia, means that the heart beats too slowly, too rapidly, or in an irregular pattern. A person suffering from arrhythmia experiences chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations and fainting," detailed Dr. Martin.
Catheter ablation is an invasive procedure used to remove a faulty electrical pathway from the hearts.
Dr Martin: "It involves advancing several flexible tubes into the patient's blood vessels and advancing them towards the heart. High-frequency electrical impulses are used to induce the arrhythmia, and then destroy the abnormal tissue that is causing it.
"For the very first time in East and Central Africa, patients with heart rhythm disorders were treated locally," said AKUH, Cardiology Services Manager, Mr Jacob Mwero.
Mwero says the lack of technology in Africa to diagnose and cure these conditions prompted doctors at the Aga Khan hospital to liaise with their colleagues abroad to be able to arrange for this charity specialist treatment.
Mr Mwero says most of the equipment used for the procedures was brought by the visiting team but the Aga Khan hospital has been preparing for this programme for the last one year by upgrading its catheterisation lab with electrophysiology diagnostic equipment.
The cost of treatment is also prohibitive.
"If you fly to the United States or Europe for this treatment, you are looking a million shillings and above; putting into consideration transport, accommodation, treatment, hospital stay, medication, the buying of gadgets like pacemakers, it a very expensive affair," detailed Mr Martin.
Interventional Cardiologist Dr Harun Otieno who was part of local team says they screened 20 patients and out of that number 13 were selected.
Mr Harun: "Not everybody is eligible; some may be too old, too sick or too weak to have the procedure done.
According to Otieno the success rate of electrophysiology study and treatment is very high. "There are a few things in medicine that you can say completely treat a condition and get one off medication. Catheter ablation for unstable heart rhythms has a success rate of over 95 percent and the patient is completely able to stop medication."
Unfortunately, electrophysiology diagnostic treatment will not be fully available locally in the short-term except through occasional charity programmes like the one just concluded at AKUH.
Dr Otieno says cardiac electrophysiology is a relatively young sub-discipline of cardiology and internal medicine developed during the mid 1970's and a qualified cardiologist requires a further 3 to 4 years of specialized study in a leading institution abroad.
A Celebration to distribute Bachelors on Nursing Sciences from Aga Khan University
Under the auspices of HE Dr. Rida Adnan Said, Minister of Health, and the presence of Mr. Mohamed Saifo, Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network, AKDN, in Syria, a celebration took place at the Ministry of Health at 2.30 p.m. on, Tuesday 4 May, 2010. The celebration was dedicated to distribute Bachelors on Nursing Sciences to five students within the Bridging Program between the Ministry of Health and the Aga Khan University, AKU in Karachi, Pakistan.
The Bridging Program is part of a memorandum of understanding MOU signed between both Ministries of Health and Higher Education and AKDN. The aim of the MOU is to support the nursing sector and to improve nursing leadership and nursing education in Syria.
Dr Said assured during the ceremony the importance of advanced study, and applying knowledge in practice, in order to develop nursing services provided to beneficiaries. Dr Said listened to graduate's ideas and comments on their unique experiment, and wished them best luck in the future.
Mr. Mohamed Saifo stated: "Improving nursing sector in Syria, providing scholarship opportunities for advanced studies on nursing, promoting nursing as a career and supporting women participation in this domain, all consider the main objective to achieve by AKU, AKDN, and Ministry of Health and Ministry of Higher Education in Syria".
The Nursing Improvement Program at AKU includes continuous learning courses in addition to training in specific areas in nursing improvement (such as clinical experience, leadership development and English language improvement) in addition to providing support to a number of students to continue their education and obtain a Bachelor or Master degrees in nursing. The Program is also running bridging programs between Syrian universities and AKU as well as twinning between Damascus Hospital and AKUH. The Faculty of Nursing was already opened in the city of Hama, while another Faculty of Nursing is expected to be opened in the near future in the city of Homs.
AKU in the frontline of the technical revolution in Pakistan
"The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is also working towards developing telemedicine in the country. The commission has set up a telemedicine satellite that connects the Jinnah Post Medical Center to various hospitals and telecentres across Sindh. In Sindh, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Karachi is also used as a hub to provide telemedicine to rural areas of the province. In fact, AKUH is involved in facilitating telemedicine in Afghanistan with the help of Roshan, one of Afghanistan’s leading telecom service providers. Jehan Ara of P@SHA gives an example of telemedicine being used in a disaster area."
Lamp Lighting Ceremony, 2010 at Aga Khan University
May 27, 2010
“In full knowledge of the obligations I am undertaking, I promise to care for the sick with all the skill and understanding I possess, without regard to race, creed, colour, politics or social status, sparing no effort to conserve life, to alleviate suffering and to promote health.”
Close to 100 second-year nursing students from the Diploma in Nursing and BScN programmes at Aga Khan University School of Nursing took this International Pledge, holding a lighted lamp. The lamp symbolises a promise to uphold the values of the nursing profession and to follow the path set by nursing pioneers, Rufayda Al Aslamiya, the first Muslim nurse, and Florence Nightingale.
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