Varsity to set up heart and cancer centre
By NATION Reporter Posted Wednesday, January 20 2010 at 21:52
The Aga Khan University Hospital plans to set up a heart and cancer centre in Kenya by the end of the year. The centre, the first of its kind in the region, will provide medical treatment for heart ailments and cancers, the university’s president, Mr Firoz Rasul, announced on Wednesday.
This is only part of their expansion agenda, which Mr Rasul said, is expected to cost more than $700 million (Sh52.5 billion). Besides offering treatment, Mr Rasul said the centre would also train specialists in cardiac diseases and cancer. “This expansion will directly impact on the services we offer the communities we serve and contribute to the development of the East African region,” he said.
He was speaking during the sixth graduation ceremony of the university hospital, located in Parklands, Nairobi. Mr Rasul told the ceremony, which was presided over by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, that the project, will create 6,000 jobs for East Africans.
The university also plans to establish new campuses. However, Mr Rasul said that the expansion plan will only be possible if there will be a conducive environment for investment in the country.
Mr Musyoka expressed the government’s appreciation to the Aga Khan for the continued contribution to development of education and other sectors such as health in the country.
During the occasion, 82 graduands were awarded degrees and diplomas. Mr Musyoka said that the government attached great importance to education as evidenced by the large budgetary allocation over the years.
“We now have seven public universities, several constituent colleges and 18 private universities, including the Aga Khan,’’ he said.
The VP urged the private sector and religious organizations to take advantage of the available demand for higher education to either set up new institutions or expand existing ones. The chairman of the Aga Khan University Board of Trustees, Mr Saidullah Khan Dehlavi, attended the ceremony.
The Government has formulated education policies that emphasize relevance and quality at all levels of the learning with an aim of producing creative and innovative citizens, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.
Mr. Musyoka noted that imparting of knowledge and skills through education was not enough without the provision of practical knowledge that produces all- round self reliant students who can stand the test of integrity besides addressing developmental challenges facing the nation.
"Admittedly, education for the sake of it is not enough. We need an education that produces all round students who are self reliant, creative and innovative, capable of providing tactical solutions to our country's development challenges,'' said Mr. Musyoka.
The VP was speaking Wednesday during the sixth graduation ceremony of the Aga Khan University held at the institution's graduation pavilion, Parklands, Nairobi, where he was the chief guest.
During the occasion 82 graduands received degrees and diplomas.
Mr. Musyoka expressed Government appreciation to his Highness the Aga Khan spiritual leader and Imam of the Ismalia community for the continued contribution to development of education and other sectors such as health in the country.
The VP said the Government attaches great importance to education as evidenced by the larger budgetary allocation over the years.
He said that a considerable growth has been witnessed in the sector from the primary school level to colleges and universities.
"We now have seven public universities, up from one at independence and several constituent colleges and 18 private universities including the Aga Khan at the moment,'' he said.
The VP however, said that despite the increase in such education opportunities the demand for higher education continues to grow.
Mr. Musyoka attributed the increased demand on the successful implementation of free primary education and tuition for secondary schools programs.
He urged the private sector and religious organizations to take advantage of the available demand for higher education to invest in the sector by establishing new and expanding existing educational facilities.
The VP stressed on the importance of ensuring provision of quality standards of education.
" The Government will strictly monitor compliance to ensure that standards are not only upheld but that the courses offered are relevant to the country's needs and aspirations as exposed in Vision 2030," he said.
The University's President, Mr. Firoz Rasul said there are plans to establish the Aga Khan University's new campuses and programmes in East Africa at a cost of over $700 million and create over 6000 new jobs.
Mr. Fasul added that there is an aggressive expansion agenda for Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi and launching of a Heart and Cancer Center at the end of the year.
He said the center will provide a critical medical treatment currently not available in East Africa and train specialists in cardiac diseases and cancer.
Present were the Chairman of the Aga Khan University Board of Trustees, Mr. Saidullah Khan Dehlavi and Parents among other guests
Dr. Achulet Josephine receives a certificate of appreciation as the best student in Academic Excellence from Dr. Mutebile, Governor Bank of Uganda as Chairman Agha Khan University Mr. Saidullah Khan Dehlari (left) and Mr. Firoz Rasul President Agha Khan University (right) look on. PHOTO BY YUSUF MUZIRANSA
By Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa (email the author)
Posted Monday, January 25 2010 at 00:00
Bank of Uganda Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, has criticised the deepening staff shortages in health facilities and poor remuneration of medics, saying they overshadow the strides so far made in the health sector.
Presiding over the seventh graduation ceremony of Aga Khan University of Nursing on Saturday in Kampala, Prof. Mutebile asked the graduates to brave the challenges facing the health sector which he said was key in accelerating development in the country.
“You will face many challenges in your careers since the health problems of this country are immense and the conditions under which nurses must work are often very difficult,’’ he said, adding: “But I am confident that the training that you have received at the Aga Khan University has equipped you with the skills to overcome these challenges.”
Ministry of Health records indicate that there is a staggering shortfall of 2,290 nurses out of the required 5,568 in government hospitals alone.
Due to poor pay, some nurses abscond from duty because they are frustrated and this has prompted many to leave the country in search for greener pastures outside the country.
A total of 25 students were awarded Bachelors of Science Degrees in Nursing and 22 graduated with Diplomas in General Nursing.
The Advanced Nursing Studies Programme at Aga Khan University targets practicing nurses and midwives and this time round Mulago Hospital produced the majority.
Prof. Mutebile said choosing to pursue a career in the health sector was a noble choice since these practioners devote their careers to saving the lives of others.
“…Many thousands of Ugandans in the years to come will have reason to be profoundly grateful that you chose to devote your careers to hearing and caring for the sick,” he added.
According to the current salary scale, a registered nurse earns Shs398,121 per month while an enrolled nurse takes home Shs271,418 and a support staff a meager Shs234,142.
Prof. Mutebile commended the university for filling a ‘vital gap’ in providing ongoing vocational and graduate training for practicing nurses and midwives.
Mr Firoz Rasul, the president of Aga Khan University, said the university had consolidated its presence in eight countries and currently strives to become East Africa’s first regional university with campuses in all member states.
Since the Aga Khan University started its Advanced Nursing Studies Programme in 2007, it has awarded 183 diplomas to enrolled nurses and conferred 136 degrees to registered nurses from public, private and faith-based health institutions in Uganda.
The university plans to expand its campuses within East Africa, an investment that will exceed over $700 million, bringing over 6,000 jobs, Mr Rasul said.
Aga Khan varsity sets aside Sh910bn for new campuses
By Bernard Lugongo
The Aga Khan University plans to invest more than $700 million (over Sh910 billion) in new campuses and programmes in East Africa that will see the creation of more than 6,000 jobs in the region, its president said yesterday.
Mr Firoz Rasul said the university was looking forward to working with the national governments in the region to ensure a conducive environment for such an investment.
Speaking during the 5th graduation ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Mr Rasul said Aga Khan University set to become East Africa's first regional university with campuses in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
The $700 million investment is more than half of Tanzania's 2008/09 allocation to education pegged at Sh1.43 trillion, which is some 32 per cent of the entire national Budget.
At this year's graduation, a total of 117 students graduated in various disciplines.
Three were awarded masters of medicine degrees, 40, diploma in general nursing, 49, Bachelor of Science, Nursing and 25, masters in education.
Mr Rasul said the university would establish its principal campus at Arusha, to house the faculty of arts and sciences as well as graduate schools in various professional disciplines.
�Through this faculty, we aim to develop a whole new generation of leadership steeped in the issues of the region and equipped with the knowledge and critical thinking skills to solve the these problems, he told the gathering.
The faculty hoped to produce graduates who would be armed with a strong sense of the pluralism of the region, he said.
They will value the diversity of faiths and people that live in the region.
The students would also be grounded in an ethical framework that would enable them to make the right decisions for the benefit of their societies.
In Kenya, we are building on the reputation of high quality healthcare, he said.
Services provided by the Aga Khan University in Nairobi over the past 50 years were be the basis of a plan to develop the faculty of health sciences composed of a medical college as well as a school of nursing and midwifery and to train health care professionals to international standards.
In Uganda, we have the advanced nursing studies programme that works to enhance the capabilities of working nurses to improve their knowledge and leadership skills, the university president said.
Stressing that conditions had to be conducive for such an investment, he pledged the university's willingness to work with governments in the region to realise the goals.
�Naturally this expansion of our university will directly impact on the services we provide to the communities we serve and is a part of the overall development of the East African region
In Nairobi, for instance, a major step towards realising this vision is a $50 million initiative Heart and Cancer Centre to be launched at the end of the year.
The centre will provide critical medical treatment currently not available in East Africa, Mr Rasul said, adding that it would also train specialists in cardiac diseases and cancer.
Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani, who officiated at the graduation, praised the university for establishing nursing studies in response to requests by the East African governments.
He said the programme would promote the services of the nursing cadre to a higher level of service.
Mr Justice Ramadhani also noted the importance of the Institute for Educational Development established in December 2006, to enhance the calibre of teaching.
Tanzania needs good teachers, the sort of teachers who are taught current leadership, said Justice Ramadhani.
He said that according to Aga Khan University's founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, the institution aimed at being on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge, radiating intelligence and confidence, research and graduates, into flourishing economies and progressive legal and political systems.
We are just about to witness the manifestation of these magnificent goals, he said.
He told the graduands that they were the beneficiaries of an intellectual tradition of the Aga Khan's forefathers, the Fatimids, who established the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, over 1,000 years ago.
"You have a duty to reflect that tradition. Anyone who deals with you should be able to see the difference in your manners, treatment, care, humility and politeness," he said.
The Aga Khan University's presence in East Africa is based on the long-term commitment of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Mr Rasul said the university was committed to improving the wellbeing of communities in the region through quality education and healthcare, as well as rural and urban development initiatives.
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