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Aga Khan University set to expand
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 15378

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Varsity to have Sh2.7bn heart centre
By NATION Correspondent
Posted Thursday, June 3 2010 at 21:01

More than US$ 35 million (Sh2.7 billion) has been earmarked for a heart and cancer referral centre at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi.

Mr Moyez Alibhai, the chairman of the Aga Khan Health services in Kenya said that once the centre was complete, Kenyans would have no need to go overseas for cancer treatment.

Aga Khan Health services in Kenya was carrying out massive investment in its health facilities across the country to make sure that it was a network, by investing in systems, medical personnel and technology so that they can provide the best quality services, Mr Alibhai added.

Mr Alibhai also hinted that Aga Khan Health services was exploring ways of ensuring that the cost of medical services goes down, to cater for all Kenyans.

“We want to ensure that we have the best quality services and that is why we are investing in Information Technology, human resource, diagnostic and all our hospitals will be of benefit,” said the chairman.

Mr Alibhai made the remarks at Imperial hotel during the launch of revamped diagnostic services at Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu.

The revamped diagnostic services aim at meeting and exceeding the expectation of its customers, with the focus of improving the quality of healthcare services.

Aga Khan hospital Kisumu chief operating officer Nadim Mawji said that the laboratory department was seeking to obtain the ISO 15189 accreditation, the benchmark for laboratory accreditation.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/regional/Varsity%20to%20have%20Sh2.7bn%20heart%20centre/-/1070/931776/-/view/printVersion/-/rjg4fx/-/index.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Experts from the AKU participate in the compilation of the WHO report

Excerpt:

"A multitude of experts from the World Health Organization, Aga Khan University and other groups compiled the report."

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Report-Calls-for-Hundreds-of-Thousands-New-Midwives-Other-Health-Professionals-96368474.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VIDEO

The Difference We Make


http://aku.edu/video/Difference_we_make_1.html
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VIDEO: AKU President Firoz Rasul speaks on next 25 years of the Aga Khan University

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1048/Video-AKU-President-Firoz-Rasul-speaks-on-next-25-years-of-the-Aga-Khan-University

Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University addressed an audience at the Ismaili Centre, London on 8 July 2010, in which he looked ahead towards the University’s next 25 years.

In the next 25 years, said President Rasul, AKU will take an important evolutionary step to become a comprehensive university. With a vision for the University “to be on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge,” the President discussed AKU’s plans to offer programmes in the liberal arts, media and communications, law and public policy, and government. He also talked about the University’s plans to build several new campuses and to embark on regional integrated health care strategies in South and Central Asia and East Africa.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, wins Environment Excellence Award 2010
06 Aug 2010

1 Comment
by Ahmad Ladhani in AKU Pakistan

The National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH), in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme and the Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan, has presented its Annual Environment Excellence Award 2010 to Aga Khan University Hospital.

This year, AKUH is one of 58 institutions to have won the award in a nationwide competition. The award recognises industry leaders following sustainable and environment-friendly practices. Using relevant data and records from the last year, NFEH reached its decision based on the following criteria: the environment, health and safety (EHS) management programme of the organisation; leadership commitment; staff participation, goals and objectives, training programmes and progress; incident reporting and analysis; waste management; and performance monitoring, measurement and improvement.

Read complete via AKU


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http://ahmadladhani.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/aga-khan-university-hospital-karachi-wins-environment-excellence-award-2010/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKU’s East Africa project to receive “utmost priority”: EAC Secretary General

August 12, 2010

Address by Ambassador Juma V. Mwapachu, Secretary General, East African Community during the commissioning of the new printing press and celebrations of 10 years of the founding of Mwananchi Communications Limited

Distinguished Chair of the National Media Group, Mr Wilfred Kiboro;
Acting Chair of Mwananchi Communications Ltd, Madam Zuhura Muro;
Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nation Media Group, Mr Linus Gitali;
Members of the Board of Mwananchi Communications Ltd;
Managing Director of Mwananchi Communications Ltd, Mr Sam Shollai;
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of Diplomatic Missions;
Management and Staff of Mwananchi Communications Ltd;
Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for honouring me and the East African Community (EAC) at this event of historic importance which marks the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Mwananchi Communications Company and the Commissioning of the state-of-the-art printing press. At the outset, allow me to congratulate the Board of Directors, management and staff of the Mwananchi Communications for the lofty achievements your company has realised in the past 10 years. Many Tanzanians and East Africans would agree that your achievements do indeed reflect the theme of today’s event, namely professionalism and integrity.

The emergence of Mwananchi Communications in 2000 was no mere happenstance. Its establishment coincided with the birth of the EAC and was generally in response to the fast changing political and economic climate in the East African region. That was the time when political and economic liberalisation had begun to take root, unleashing a marketplace for ideas to contend and for business enterprise to flourish. Indeed, the prospect for a renewed spirit of regionalism provided the added impetus for “energising the power of human diversity”, to cite the inspiring words of His Highness, the Aga Khan.

Friends,

Today, 10 years after your establishment, Tanzanians and East Africans generally have every reason to celebrate a new political and economic space that is singularly manifested by the growth and vibrancy of the media in the EAC region. The American social critic, Alvin Toffler was right when he wrote that information is the most democratic source of power. The people of East Africa today are indeed empowered thanks partly to the media, to demand, exercise and defend their rights. Equally, they are empowered through sheer knowledge, which the media contributes, about the challenges that confront the human condition.

As you celebrate your 10th Anniversary, it is important to dedicate your achievements to the bold and inspiring vision of His Highness, the Aga Khan who, fifty years ago, established the Nation Media Group, your associate company.

His Highness stands out in the world as a leading pillar of democratic and human values. His intense and steadfast commitment to knowledge advancement has underlined the strategic investment of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in the media industry and in broad-based education amongst other ventures for social development. It also underscores his fundamental thesis about the nature of current global and regional tensions, including terrorism, which the late Professor Samuel Huntington associated with a clash of civilisations. In contrast, the view of His Highness, the Aga Khan is that such tensions manifest “a clash of ignorance”.

This is the thesis that drives His Highness, the Aga Khan’s commitment to using the instruments of formal education and the media to eradicate ignorance. On the education front specifically, AKDN is establishing 18 academies in South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa at a cost of nearly US$ 1 billion. Here in East Africa, the Network is in the process of establishing an East African Regional University, whose main campus will be in Arusha, under the umbrella of Aga Khan University (AKU), whose headquarters is in Pakistan.

This University will be multi-country and multi-campus and will advance the priorities of the EAC in line with global standards. In addition, AKDN will establish an East African Institute also under the aegis of AKU to act as a research and dialogue think-tank for addressing East Africa’s challenges, notably in climate, environment, energy, jobs and regional cohesion. The EAC is already working very closely with AKU on accreditation and other issues. I am pleased to state that under my leadership at the EAC, the East African regional University project will receive utmost priority.

Friends,

It is important to see what is evolving in the EAC region through the plans of the AKDN in the proper context. Responding to an interview question in Canada, by The Globe and Mail newspaper, on May 28 this year about how the world has changed since his last visit to Canada in 2002, His Highness, the Aga Khan put the EAC at the heart of his answer. He said, and I quote, “Well, I think one of the key issues is this question of the future, regionalism. I think we are seeing regionalism becoming a more and more international factor in the way countries relate to each other. I would give you the East African Community as an example of countries that in the past were part of a colonial system. Not all five of them, one wasn’t part of it. But today, you have five African countries entering into a constructive group for social and economic interest”.

It is this ethos of regionalism that His Highness refers to that encapsulates the spirit of the event here today. The founding of Mwananchi Communications Limited falls squarely within this perspective and for which I salute and commend the leadership of Nation Media Group. Along with Monitor Publications in Uganda, Nation Media Group has become a truly regional media enterprise making its vision of becoming “the media of Africa for Africa” highly plausible.


For us in the EAC, we see the consolidation of the East African media conglomerate, be in print, electronic or both, as the strategic partner in driving our integration agenda forward. Already, through the East African newspaper, the EAC has become a household name in East Africa and beyond. But even national newspapers like The Citizen and Mwananchi, your own daily editions, as well as other leading national newspapers and television stations, are increasingly featuring stories and issues about EAC integration. I wish to take the opportunity to hail this partnership and urge that we intensify it for the benefit of the East African people.

Friends,

As you know, the EAC is at an advanced stage in forging deeper and wider integration. But it is a stage that is churning out more complex aspects of integration which, if not well managed and explained, could cause setbacks. I have lately been reading a May 2010 report by Professor Mario Monti submitted to the President of the European Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Barosso. The report is titled: A New Strategy for the Single Market: At the Service of Europe’s Economy and Society. The report is in response to serious challenges confronting the EU’s 18 year old single market.


Mr Barosso’s letter to Professor Monti, President of the distinguished Italy’s Bocconi University in Milan, refers to “a need for a new awareness, in the public opinion as well as in political circles, of the dramatic consequences that would derive from undermining the single market. That would erode the basis for economic integration and growth and employment throughout the EU … the full potential of the single market has not yet been delivered. In many areas the single market is far from being completely in place …”

The EAC has stepped into a common, or single, market only on July 1st this year. Yet, you read in the media all kinds of perceptions about the EAC common market as if it were 10 years old. The journey to putting a common market in place has just started and the challenges will be many.

Do you know that after 18 years of the single market in Europe only 2.3 per cent of Europeans live in a Member State different from that of their nationality? Do you know that freedom of movement of workers in the EU is the most contested and least used of the four freedoms in the EU single market? Do you also know that updating the regulations on coordination of social security systems in the EU required 11 years of negotiation?

Now do not take me for a pessimist. I am totally sold to what the EAC common market can do to unlock the potential of our economies. The economic benefits will be huge, especially flowing from trade-in services and shared human resource capacity. Equally, the free movement of capital would trigger incentives for private equity funds to step into our region and bringing down the cost of risk capital. My point is one of caution against constructing castles in the air like the Abu Nawas Fable.

The media must help in promoting better understanding of the complexity of the common market and desist from being purveyors of shortcomings and pointing accusing fingers at some of the EAC Partner States for lack of commitment. Realising the full potential of the common market will take years, not months. But it will be best realised when the media supports the efforts being undertaken, always respectful of national conditions.

The challenges facing the EU single market attests to the need to galvanise political will as well as the commitment of East African citizens around shared integration goals. The media has a unique place and role to play in this worthy task.

Friends,

Allow me to end my statement by once again congratulating Mwananchi Communications Limited for turning 10 years old. During this period you became the first media firm to produce a full-colour newspaper in Tanzania. But the media marketplace is fast evolving in Tanzania and the EAC region generally. There are challenging economic times ahead that require the media to transform and reposition itself. What will differentiate you from the rest is fearless but fair reporting, respectful of Tanzanian values and a content in editorials and columns that responds to changing demographics and the new audiences that are more technologically savvy.

The installation of the new state-of-the-art printing press should help to leverage your competitiveness both in cost of production and the quality of your product. I wish you well as you enter the second decade of your operations.

It is now my singular pleasure and honour to declare the newly installed printing press officially commissioned.

Thank you and God bless you all.

http://aku.edu/OnlineNews/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=272
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update on AKU’s response

The Sindh flood disaster is still unravelling. Given the news of fresh floods in the rivers up north, we do not anticipate the waters to recede anytime soon.

Our large city response
We deployed an urban response in Bilal Colony, where there was a cluster of IDPs, from our clinic. We are planning to set up another camp in Karachi and will need to send a team out to assess location/feasibility. The same is the case with Hyderabad and we should set up a camp near the Hyderabad hospital.

Rural response
Our field camp in Naushero Feroze has been operational since last week and is successful. We are now strengthening it. We were asked by the district admin in Khairpur to help assist with a diarrhoea outbreak and we deployed staff yesterday. This is being consolidated into a proper Diarrhoea Ward of 100 beds and we can then have our MNCH camp(s) nearby the IDP clusters. Over this week we plan to deploy the following teams:

1.We hope to have a team in place in Thatta today given the heavy influx of people.
2.We also hope to have a camp set up in Sukkur on Monday in liaison with the local staff in the Lab Office. We have identified a couple of likely spots and have also linked with a local paediatric hospital which is providing free care, so that we can focus on primary prevention. In Sukkur we will focus on the full repertoire of maternal and child care.
3.We have obtained assistance from the army to deploy a team to Dera Murad Jamali where the population has shifted from Jacobabad. This team should depart by Tuesday.
4.A team will depart for Gilgit-Baltistan on Wednesday assisted in the air lift by FOCUS.
This will raise the current total to six camps/teams this week as per plan and can be easily doubled next week in the same locations.

We will be proceeding to Sukkur on Tuesday evening for direct consultations with the health cluster staff and to see what is happening for ourselves. We shall spend two days assessing the situation on the ground in Sukkur, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze, Matiari, Hyderabad (Jamshoro/Dadu border) and possibly Thatta.

Lastly, we have been trying very hard to try and get a cholera vaccination campaign organized to prevent outbreaks and this has proved very challenging. The government of Sindh is very keen on this and we are trying to identify donors in collaboration with the International Vaccine Institute. The estimated cost for 500,000 doses is about US$6 million and if we can secure this, it will be a major contribution from AKU/AKDN.

By Dr Bhutta

http://www.aku.edu/floodrelief/AKU_response.shtml
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKU in the List of governments and institutions making commitments in the UN drive to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children

Academic and research institutions

Institute for Global Health of Barcelona IS Global, International Partnership for Microbicides, University of Aberdeen, the Aga Khan University, University of Ghent, International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Consortium of Universities of Global Health, University of Toronto, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction

http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/membernews/2010/20100922_gswchlaunch_pr/en/index1.html
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Mental Health Day at AKU on Oct 11

Updated at: 2030 PST, Sunday, October 10, 2010

KARACHI: The World Mental Health Day observed on October 11 every year raises public awareness about mental health issues all over the world.

An announcement of the Aga Khan University here said that the Day provides a platform to initiate open discussions on mental disorders and investments in prevention and treatment services.

It pointed out that the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance-use disorders is formidable, especially in poor-resource countries.

The announcement further said that the Aga Khan University will commemorate World Mental Health Day (WMHD) on October 11 focusing on this year's global theme: `Burden of Care in Mental Illness'.

The WMHD programme will include lectures by specialists on these topics: `Who looks after the mentally ill in Pakistan? by Dr Murad Moosa Khan; `Stigma and mental illness: Time to change’ by Dr Haider Naqvi; `The joy of caring: Social support in care giving' by Dr Nargis Asad; `From compassion to complaints: Stress of caring' by Dr Naila Bhutto; and `I don't want others to know: an alcoholic in the family' by Dr Syed Ahmer.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest-news/2669.htm
http://aku.edu/OnlineEvents/EventsDetail.aspx?ID=394
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understanding Muslim civilisations
Denise Marray

12 November 2010,
Over the last 200 years or so, western countries have largely dominated the flow of knowledge, with the result that ideas from other countries have been greatly under-represented in studying and analysing issues that affect the daily lives of people throughout the world. Correcting this imbalance, which arose partly under colonial rule, is an enormous task — but work is underway.

In London, the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) is striving to bring more voices to international debate. AKU has an international reputation in the fields of medicine and healthcare that it is extending into the fields of humanities and social sciences. Through the ISMC, it aims to strengthen research and teaching about the heritage of Muslim societies as they have evolved over time, with specific attention to the challenges these societies face in contemporary settings.

For Sikeena Karmali Ahmed, the ISMC’s manager of publications and editing, the work of bringing Muslim scholarship to a wider audience is a labour of love. “I feel very devoted to this work. I believe in it. It’s not just a job for me,” she said.

Ahmed’s direct experience in Central Asia, where she directed a human rights training programme, gives immediacy to the work being undertaken at the ISMC. She has worked with the Aga Khan Humanities Project in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgistan. “I was working in Afghanistan during the American bombardment and on the outskirts of Afghanistan during the Taleban rule between 1999 and 2004,” she explained. It was while undertaking a survey on gender in Tajikistan’s Karategin Valley in 1999 that she saw the harsh actions of the ruling Taleban. A commander Shah ordered the public hanging of two girls, aged just 12 and 14, who had wanted to go to school. To meet the commander, Ahmed — herself a Muslim — donned a full veil, as it was only on his terms that any communication could take place.

She asked him, “Can you show me or explain where it is written that Muslim women should not be educated beyond primary school?” The commander, who Ahmed thought was unable to read the Koran in Arabic, could not point to a source for his edict. His brutal actions, she observed, also need to be seen in the context of 
his experience.

He associated education with Soviet occupation, as under the Soviets, education was compulsory and religious worship of any kind forbidden. In the commander’s mind, education had become synonymous with Soviet-isation — something to be eradicated. In this 
case, as Ahmed pointed out, the issue of education “was misappropriated and misassigned”, with tragic results.

The commander asked Ahmed, “Aren’t you afraid of asking these questions?” She replied: “You pray every day — or you claim to — to a God who is merciful and forgiving. Do you really think that a merciful and forgiving God would want you to have killed two young girls because they were trying to educate themselves?” The commander, she recalled, paused for thought at that point, but “not as much as I would have liked him to.”

The ISMC offers a range of short courses on Muslim cultures in addition to its highly demanding two-year Master of Arts in Muslim Cultures degree. Students come from the US, Canada, Iran, Central Asia, India, Pakistan and East Africa. Many graduates go on to work in the developing world, perhaps within the Aga Khan Development Network or continue their studies at PhD level at reputable universities such as Oxford or Cambridge.

news@khaleejtimes.com
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/Displayarticle08.asp?section=diversions&xfile=data/diversions/2010/November/diversions_November14.xml
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over 300 doctors and nurses graduate at AKU’s 23rd Convocation

November 13, 2010

Keeping the annual tradition of the institution alive, Aga Khan University (AKU) trustees, alumni, faculty and staff honoured 323 graduates at the 23rd AKU Convocation on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

This year, the University’s Institute for Educational Development graduated 21 students and the School of Nursing 162 nurses, 12 of whom received a Master’s degree.

The Medical College graduated 97 doctors and granted 24 Master of Science degrees. There were 19 Master of Bioethics graduates also, the first class from this programme at the University.

Amidst much applause, Rinam Rahmatullah received the Best Graduate Award from the School of Nursing and Dr Saulat Sajjad Sheikh from the Medical College.

Mr Khushnood Lashari, the Federal Health Secretary and chief guest at the morning Convocation reminded graduates of the contribution the University has made to the country. Highlighting the hardships the country is facing in the aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan floods, he commended the University’s relief efforts in making the Railway Hospital in Sukkur operational and turning it “into a diarrheal treatment centre which potentially saved many from the epidemic of diarrhoea and cholera in the region.” He said there was much to be done in this time of need, and urged graduates to “build institutions, create knowledge, set benchmarks of quality by using best practices, develop models for change, inspire ethical practice and lead by example.”

The chief guest at the afternoon programme, Justice Sarmad Osmany, Chief Justice, Sindh High Court reminded the graduating doctors that they should not treat the medical profession as merely a career. Rather, they must have compassion for their fellow human beings and the desire to serve humanity. He also spoke about the current situation in Pakistan and how the nation is facing a series of major calamities including the 2005 earthquake and the recent floods, as well as terrorism. These are situations that only the citizens of Pakistan can take responsibility for and respond to.

On a similar note, Mr Firoz Rasul, President, Aga Khan University reminded graduates of their role in rebuilding Pakistan. He emphasised how great leaders have been able to effect change by challenging the way a society thinks and shapes its institutions; from Nelson Mandela, who withstood 27 years in prison on the basis of a principle, to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who nursed the birth of a nation.

Mr Rasul called for leadership that displays the same qualities of resilience. “Leaders who have the capacity to bounce back from misfortune, disruptive change, and crises; who have the ability to step up, see a new horizon with greater opportunities, and then engage those around them to achieve that vision,” he said. The ability to be a resilient leader is driven by a person’s intrinsic qualities, attitudes and behaviours and an ethical framework. “It comes from the ability to look at challenges as opportunities to grow, to change, and to learn from mistakes rather than seeing ourselves as victims of circumstances and feeling we are not in control of our own destiny. It comes from our willingness to take the initiative rather than feel sorry for ourselves and inspire those around us to believe in their own capabilities.”

The University also presented three people with awards. The Award of Excellence in Education went to Dr Shaista Masood Khan, for her outstanding contribution to education, the Award of Distinction to Dr Terrence Gibson and Dr Riaz Qureshi, who have contributed constructively and consistently to the development of the University.

Also in attendance were representatives from student groups, various student and academic leaders, and staff, all of whom played an important role for students during their years at AKU.

For details, please visit the University's Convocation websection.

About Aga Khan University
AKU was chartered in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private university. Its objective is to promote human welfare in general, and the welfare of the people of Pakistan in particular, by disseminating knowledge and providing instruction, training, research and service in the health sciences, education and such other branches of learning as the University may determine. AKU also has programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Syria and Egypt.

http://aku.edu/OnlineNews/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=725
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta of Aga Khan University is on the Advisory Panel of Scientists Without Borders Challenge for Solutions to Combat Consequence of Malnutrition

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 06:39 AM PST

To ensure scientific rigor and independence, Scientists Without Borders convened an Advisory Panel of three of the world’s leading nutrition science and policy experts and vested them with the independent authority to identify the appropriate parameters, specific focus area, and criteria for this challenge. These esteemed scientists—Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta of Aga Khan University in Pakistan; Dr. Eileen Kennedy, Dean of the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University; and Dr. Ricardo Uauy, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and former president of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences—will also assist Scientists Without Borders in the selection of the prize-winning solution.

http://www.nyas.org/MemberCenter/AcademyNews.aspx?cid=11e173fb-62f4-47e1-9fba-cae0805eb092
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Provincial
Ultra-modern medical centre opens in Nakuru


By NATION correspondentPosted Sunday, November 21 2010 at 20:46

The Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, has opened a modern medical centre in Nakuru County in its campaign to improve the quality of healthcare in the country.

The opening of the ultra-modern centre comes at a time investors attracted by renewed growth are trooping into the town.

The newly-refurbished medical centre will provide the more than 300,000 residents of the town with affordable primary and specialised healthcare services.

Other services available at the centre situated at Riva Business Centre include an on-site laboratory, with a capacity to handle routine and specialised tests.

“Your results will be delivered on time and in a confidential manner to either you or your doctor,” said one of the paramedics at the centre.

She said the centre had a well stocked pharmacy with a wide range of affordable drugs.

Nakuru has become a preferred destination for investors and leading banks have opened their branches in the town.

The latest banks to open branches in the town include the Commercial Bank of Africa, Chase Bank and Credit Bank.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/regional/Ultra%20modern%20medical%20centre%20opens%20in%20Nakuru%20/-/1070/1058020/-/7novfgz/-/index.html
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Universal Children’s Day today

KARACHI: Universal Children’s Day (UCD) is being celebrated on Nov 27 (today) like every year to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children all over the world. Aga Khan University (AKU) is commemorating UCD today to initiate action to benefit and promote children’s welfare in Pakistan and abroad. The UCD line-up will include stalls for health-related activities and lectures by specialists on topics such as ‘Nutritional Needs of Growing Children: Is my newborn healthy?’ ‘Beyond Physical Health: How can we protect our children from illness?’ and ‘Early Childhood Development’. The programme will begin at 10am and conclude at 1pm at AKU Auditorium, Stadium Road campus. ppi

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\11\27\story_27-11-2010_pg12_5
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKU organising free medical camps in city

KARACHI: The alumni of Aga Khan University (AKU) is organising free medical camp in different localities of the city on Thursday (today). The camps at Karimabad, Federal B Area; Bilal Colony, Korangi; Sultanabad, and New Sabzi Mandi areas are offering visitors an opportunity to check their blood pressure, weight, BMI and blood glucose levels. The camping will start at 11am and continue till 4pm where people will also be given information about basic hygiene practices and how to protect oneself from infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue and pneumonia. The visitors will also be offered a chance to speak to a mental health counselor, who will screen for depression and offer advice on how to manage stress, one of the main causes of depression. staff report
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Youngsters From Orphan
Homes In For A Treat

gift packs for children at the Aga
Khan University Hospital, Nairobi


Coastweek -- TREAT. Elizabeth Mutindi [left] and Bancy Wanjiru [second right], from Heritage of Faith and Hope Children Rehabilitation Centre, were all smiles when they received gift packs from Betty Maina [second left], the Chief Executive of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and Ferial Nathoo [right], the Patient Welfare Coordinator of Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, during a treat at the Hospital for youngsters from six orphan homes.

http://www.coastweek.com/3354-22.htm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Global trends in health systems: Can we reach MDG 4 & 5?
Guest Lecture
When Monday, January 24, 2011; 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Where Auditorium, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Details Speaker: Hans Rosling, Professor of Global Health, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Organisers Department of Continuing Professional Development in collaboration with Department of Community Health Sciences
Contact Conference Secretariat
Email: conf.sect@aku.edu
Tel: +92 21 3486 4584
Fax: +92 21 3486 4294

http://aku.edu/OnlineEvents/EventsDetail.aspx?ID=429

If you have not seen his YouTube video yet, click on the photograph below to watch at the source.

Professor Hans Rosling, Joy of Stats fame, will be at the Aga Khan University Karachi on January 24

http://www.gapminder.org/videos/200-years-that-changed-the-world-bbc/
Hans Rosling@HansRoslin
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKU Feb 2011 Convocations

Uganda 2011 - Feb 5
http://www.aku.edu/university/convocation2011/ea-uganda-index.shtml

Tanzania 2011 - Feb 9
http://aku.edu/university/convocation2011/ea-tanzania-index.shtml

UK 2011 - Feb 12
http://www.aku.edu/university/convocation2011/uk-index.shtml

*****


http://www.aku.edu/OnlineEvents/EventsDetail.aspx?ID=442

International Summer Programme (18-29 July 2011, London)
Expressions of Diversity: A Contemporary Introduction to Muslim Cultures

When July 18-29, 2011
Where AKU-ISMC, Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, London, UK

Details Thissummer, immerse yourself in the various facets of the history, cultureand contemporary challenges of Muslims by joining our unique programme.In the first week, we will cover topics including the Qur'an, the lifeof the Prophet, the formation of the Muslim community, civil society,law, gender and literature. The second week will focus on `localexpressions' of being Muslim by exploring the different ways in whichpeople interpret and practise Islamic ideas in a variety of contexts.Don't miss out on this exciting two-week programme that will combineclassroom discussions with cultural activities, offering a trulymulticultural experience in London. For more details, please visitwww.aku.edu/ismc/shortcourses


Organisers AKU-ISMC

Contact ismc.shortcourses@aku.edu
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New State Of The Art Ophthalmology Referral Centre

launched by Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi

Coastweek-- His Excellency David B. Collins, the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya has cut a ribbon to officially launch the new Ophthalmology Referral Centre at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH,N).

He was accompanied by Mr. Aziz Bhaloo, AKDN country representative, Mr. Firoz Rasul, President, Aga Khan University, Ms. Asmita Gillani, the Chief Executive Officer, AKUH, N and senior hospital staff, faculty and guests.

The Ophthalmology Referral Centre will focus on specialized tertiary referral eye care services, including eye care research and innovation as well as provide training for health care professionals in ophthalmology.

Comprehensive eye clinic services ranging from routine eye exams, management of common eye diseases and trauma and also complex surgical procedures will be available.

His Excellency David B. Collins praised the partnership between Kenya and sponsors in Canada who paid for the purchase of the state of the art ophthalmology equipment that will be used at the referral centre.

He thanked the Eye Professional Community in Canada for donating $250,000 Canadian dollars for the refurbishment of the clinic space and for the purchase of the equipment.

The High Commissioner went on to say “Initiatives do not just happen.

They take commitment, hard work and diligence and we are seeing the results of this partnership in the professionals who have received training in the exchange programmes including Dr. Dan Kiage a Glaucoma Specialist who is also the Head of Ophthalmology at AKUH,N and Chairman of the Ophthalmological Society of Eastern Africa.”

In his speech, Dr. Dan Kiage revealed shocking statistics about the prevalence of eye disease in Kenya, saying, “About 250, 000 Kenyans are blind and another 700, 000 suffer reduced vision.”

“Over 80 per cent of the blindness is either treatable or preventable. It is therefore not acceptable to have such a high number of blind people among us.”

“One of the main challenges to tackling blindness in Africa is the very low number of eye care specialists.

"Currently we have one ophthalmologist for every 500, 000 people In Kenya.

"Therefore, AKUH is committed to training more ophthalmologists in an effort to provide increased access to care for Kenyans.

Dr. Kiage explained that the leading causes of blindness in Kenya were cataracts, glaucoma, trachoma and refractive errors. Out of these, he said dense cataracts, trachoma and other tropical disease infections are associated with low income.

Other complications like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy previously thought to be only common in developed countries are now on the rise in Kenya.

The newly launched Ophthalmology Referral Centre has all the necessary equipment for the specialist eye examinations and surgery.

These include Yag and Acon state of the art laser machines which will be used to treat and manage eye diseases such as cataract, closed angle glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

The procedures are painless and only take a few minutes to perform as an outpatient.

The facility is situated on the 5th floor of the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Doctors Plaza and is open from 7.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and at 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on Saturdays.


SAGALA LODGE - TSAVO

Click here to visit website

It is manned by highly trained and experienced ophthalmology professionals who will provide excellent clinical care to patients.

http://www.coastweek.com/3407-13.htm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Kidney Day at AKU on March 10

KARACHI: The Aga Khan University (AKU) will mark the World Kidney Day on March 10. An official of the AKU said here on Friday that the theme would be ‘Protect your kidney and save your heart’. The speakers will cover topics which include chronic kidney disease, how to keep your kidneys and heart healthy, and will highlight the lifestyle and practices required to prevent kidney and heart problems. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\05\story_5-3-2011_pg12_9
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKU organizes Second National Vaccine Seminar

Speakers lament administrative flaws hindering immunization coverage

KARACHI, Apr. 23 (APP): Child specialists of the country, on Saturday, attributed stagnation in the childhood immunization coverage to administrative and managerial flaws coupled with poor accountability.They were addressing the participants of the Second National Vaccine Seminar, organized by Aga Khan University in collaboration with Trust for Vaccines and Immunization (TVI), USAID and Rotary International.

Senior pediatricians including Dr. Abdul Gaffar Billoo, Prof. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Dr. Tariq Iqbal Bhutta in their respective presentations lamented that despite passage of 30 years the childhood immunization coverage rate against EPI covered diseases ranged between 47% to 57%.
Polio was cited to be an exception with 90% coverage owing to global pressures.

It was mentioned that Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) was launched in 1978 with the target to eradicate six vaccine preventable diseases and initial success of small pox eradication had enhanced expectations of similar fate for other ailments.

Despite the fact that over the years new ailments were included in the EPI, they opined that the success of small pox eradication diverted the attention required towards strengthening routine immunization.

“This consequently led to marked decline in the immunization coverage of our kids,” commented one of the speakers.

Official statistics show that bulk of our childhood deaths occur in first year (54%) while 450,000 of children below five also fail to survive due to different infections and disorders.

“Universal immunization coverage of these 450,000 kids could protect them against vaccine preventable deaths and disabilities,” said a speaker.
Prof. Zulfiqar Bhutta highlighted relevance of women education,elimination of poverty and realistic approach coupled with strong will to address rampant inequalities within urban areas as well as between rural urban sectors for improved vaccination coverage.
The speakers regretted that despite maximum focus towards polio eradication, reflected through improved vaccination coverage rate (90%), the country has registered 32 cases of polio during the current year.
This was said to be in a scenario where other endemic countries including Afghanistan, India and Nigeria had reported seven cases till March 31, this year.
Dr. Altaf Bosan, National Manager for EPI on the occasion discussed in detail the resources involved to protect the children and women of the country.
He mentioned that 90% of the expenses were provided by the donors and the remaining by the government.
He identified poor utilization and low demand for the services,inadequate accessibility, limited capacity of the healthcare providers as some the challenges for EPI.
The two day seminar is an attempt to unite medical community,civil society representatives, policy makers and all relevant stake-holders to help the hapless section compelled to suffer despite all chances for a healthy existence.

http://app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137399&Itemid=2
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rotary and Aga Khan University announce strategic partnership
By Arnold R. Grahl



Aga Khan University's Advanced Nursing Studies programmes ensure that nurses and midwives are able to advance their skills and knowledge as well as their career opportunities. Photo by Jean-Luc Ray
Rotary International on Facebook

The Rotary Foundation Trustees have reached an agreement with Aga Khan University to form a strategic partnership under the Foundation's Future Vision Plan.

The private, nonsectarian university promotes human welfare and development through research, teaching, and community service. It is the second strategic partner under the Future Vision Plan. In mid-April, the Trustees reached an agreement with Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based cooperative financial institution that supports socially responsible investing.

More...
http://www.rotary.org/en/MediaAndNews/News/Pages/110504_news_agakhan.aspx
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nursing students take oath to serve humanity

By Haris Hanif

KARACHI: Holding lighting candles in their hands, some 112 nursing students of second year of the Diploma in Nursing and BSc Nursing programmes took oath at the 30th Lamp Lighting Ceremony, 2011 at Aga Khan University (AKU) School of Nursing here on Friday.

Each student pledged, “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.”

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.

AKU’s spokesperson while talking to Daily Times said the community-oriented values and high quality of education at the school had been pivotal in changing public perceptions towards the nursing profession and its role in healthcare, as well as enhancing its status on a national and regional level. In 2010, nearly 100 nursing students of second-year took the same oath to serve humanity.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\05\07\story_7-5-2011_pg12_2
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan University: A Beacon of Leadership and Learning in the Developing World

I just returned from a visit to Karachi, Pakistan for follow up work with the very extraordinary Aga Khan University. Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed working with a fascinating group of exceptionally energetic and determined leaders providing vital services in tough circumstances. To read about my first trip when my work with AKU started, go to my May 2010 blog post Into Africa: An Eye-Opening and Inspiring Trip.

Aga Khan UniversityAga Khan University runs two medical teaching hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan and Nairobi, Kenya. They also have teaching sites and healthcare services on three continents. AKU is focused on molding leaders of the future within the developing world. Part of the strategic work we’re helping them with is centered around building an integrated health system, developing a comprehensive university (they’re building new Faculties of Arts and Science in Pakistan and Tanzania), improving teaching, learning and assessment methods, research and development of solutions to key healthcare and education problems facing the developing world, and strengthening their funding and long-term financial sustainability.

For a shot of inspiration I highly recommend you view a 12 minute video on their web site. Click on Aga Khan University and then the video screen on the right entitled “The Difference We Make.” You’ll see shots of their beautiful campuses and hospitals as well as inspiring stories like the Kenyan nursing graduate who persevered through her studies (often by candle light) while raising seven orphaned nieces and nephews in Nairobi’s notorious slums. Or you can learn of efforts to rebuild Afghanistan’s war-torn healthcare system. In the videos, university, medical and foundation leaders (like one from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) call Aga Khan University a world class leader.

More...

http://www.jimclemmer.com/blog/2011/06/07/aga-khan-university-a-beacon-of-leadership-and-learning-in-the-developing-world-5/
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saving lives: Talk with Zulfiqar A. Bhutta of Aga Khan University on Research and Research Synthesis in Community Child Health

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Chair of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at Aga Khan University, Pakistan talks about community child health evidence-based approaches in developing countries, and gives advice to aspiring health professionals interested in this area.

http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/saving-lives-talk-with-zulfiqar-a-bhutta-of-aga-khan-university-on-research-and-research-synthesis-in-community-child-health/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ismailimail+%28Ismailimail%29
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

East Africa: Too Many Universities, Courses And Students But Not Enough Education

The Role of AKU


Excerpt:

"Still, according to Prof Chris Nwamuo, a senior programme officer at the Association of African Universities, the drastic cuts in the public funding of universities and the attendant decline, neglect and poor quality which have characterised them over the years, can only be countered by private universities which will provide education to the great number of learners in a knowledge-driven and knowledge-dependent world. He writes that "in many parts of the world, private universities are known to be innovative, to seek alternative financing strategies, to develop effective management structures and to introduce demand-driven courses."

One such university is the Aga Khan University, which provides post-graduate training of health service professionals, teachers and managers of schools, and the development of research scholars. It was granted its charter in 1983 as Pakistan's first private, autonomous university. The university has campuses and programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania offering post graduate medical studies and advanced nurses training. It also boasts an Institute of Educational Development located in Dar es Salaam and plans to introduce a new Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Arusha as well as a Faculty of Health Sciences in Nairobi, where it already runs a university hospital."

http://allafrica.com/stories/201107181368.html
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘First eight years crucial for child development’
Published: August 2, 2011


ABBOTABAD:

To increase awareness, strengthening linkages and advocacy regarding the concept of Early Childhood Development (ECD) among the stakeholders, the Sungi Development Foundation, here on Saturday, arranged a district level conference.

Secretary Education K-P Fareed Qureshi, District Coordination Officer Abbottabad Zaheerul Islam, officials of education, health department, representatives of Agha Khan University and civil society organisations working on child issues were among those who attended.

The speakers discussed the effectiveness of ECD practices and future methodologies for achieving set goals.

Zulfiqar Bachani of Aga Khan University gave scientific views of how and why early childhood development is extremely significant.

Discussing this crucial phase, Bachani said that the first eight of life are very important in terms of their mental development and needs extraordinary care.

Project Manager Shazia Naureen shared the achievements and progress of the ECD project, adding that “Releasing Confidence and Creativity – an Early Childhood Development (RCC-ECD)” is aimed at raising awareness on early childhood development, maternal care, capacity building of teachers, and advocacy. She said that Sungi, in cooperation with Aga Khan Foundation has implemented this project in 60 schools in Haripur and Abbottabad for the last 15 months.

K-P Education Secretary Farid Qureshi praised Sungi and Aga Khan Foundation and asked them to work to expand the outreach of the project to more areas of the province so that the communities in those areas could also benefit and achieve better results. He said parents and teachers were key duty holders who could play an important role in early childhood development. He emphasised on legislation and more work on health and education in the province.

Children from Gali Banian Girl’s Primary School also presented a role play on early childhood development and received applause from the participants. Seven teachers were also given prize for their performance in the ECD.

Improving child health

The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2011 is “Talk to Me! Breastfeeding – A 3D Experience.” The “3D” refers to the many dimensions of our lives and the centrality of communication to our personal experiences. During the week, the United Nations Children’s Fund is “calling for the benefits of breastfeeding to be broadcast beyond clinics and delivery rooms to the public at large.”

After the devolution of Ministry of Health hopes lie with the provincial governments’ need to adopt protection of breastfeeding laws and form the Infant Feeding Boards apace, for the stricter and strengthened enforcement mechanism, Nadeem Iqbal, Executive Coordinator The Network for Consumer Protection said.

According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, the situation is dismissal as the exclusive breastfeeding is low as 37 per cent while bottle feeding is 27 per cent which contributes to higher infant mortality rate. NEWS DESK

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2011.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/222263/first-eight-years-crucial-for-child-development/

*****

Move to upgrade nursing skills in EA
Sunday, 31 July 2011 22:16
digg

By East African News Agency
Arusha.The Rotary International Foundation and the Aga Khan University (AKU), have entered into a partnership to improve the maternal and child health in East Africa.

Under the partnership, the Rotary Foundation, a charitable arm of Rotary International, will provide grants to Rotary clubs to establish volunteer teams to support the professional development of the nursing faculty at AKU’s East Africa campuses in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

“Rotary clubs in East Africa are eager to partner with top-notch professionals at the Aga Khan University to help ensure that mothers and infants receive the best health care possible,” said Mr Samuel Owori, a member of the Rotary International board of directors.

“This partnership represents a big contribution to the health and well-being of families throughout the region."
The teams will work with local Rotary clubs and AKU on community service projects linking classroom lessons to existing clinics and healthcare programmes.

Rotary grants will also fund nursing and midwifery scholarships for students admitted to AKU’s advanced nursing studies programme. Scholarship recipients will also benefit from monitoring through the programme by local Rotary clubs.
The Aga Khan University’s advanced nursing programme was established in response to requests by East African governments to help upgrade nursing skills and build healthcare human resource capacity in the region.

Through continuing education programmes, graduates will be able to work in their communities to provide better quality healthcare services as well as lead policy development at the national level. The result would be better-qualified regional healthcare professionals.

The chairperson of Rotary Foundation, Mr Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, said the partnership was "an important step toward meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for maternal and child health.” The MDGs call for a 75 per cent reduction of maternal deaths - and a two-thirds reduction in the infant death rate by 2015.

According to the UN, developing countries accounted for 99 per cent of the more than 350,000 women who die each year from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. In sub-Saharan Africa, women’s risk of maternal death is 1 in 30, compared to 1 in 5,600 in developed countries.

http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/55-east-african-news/13312-move-to-upgrade-nursing-skills-in-ea.html


Last edited by kmaherali on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free Medical Camp Aga Khan
University Hospital, Nairobi


Over 2,000 people were offered medical, surgical,
dental, obstetrics and gynaecology services

http://www.coastweek.com/3431_25.htm

*****
Aga Khan hospital opens heart unit

WILLIAM OERI | NATION. The Aga Khan University Hospital CEO Ms Asmita Gillani chats with Gender Permanent Secretary Dr James Nyikal during celebrations to mark the World Heart Day in Nairobi, September 26,2010. Patients recovering from heart diseases and surgeries can now do so at a Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit which has been opened by Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION

By NATION REPORTER
Posted Thursday, August 4 2011 at 18:02

Patients recovering from heart diseases and surgeries can now do so at a Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit which has been opened by Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

Related Stories

Serena Hotel gears up for Sh4bn upgrade as it unveils new camp

This is on the ground floor of the hospital’s Doctors Plaza and is equipped with computerised treadmills, recumbent bikes, and arm and leg ergometers controlled by software designed for cardiac rehabilitation.

Michael Maina, a cardiac rehabilitation therapist at hospital, says the unit is also beneficial for patients suffering from hypertension, angina, diabetes and high cholesterol.

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/Aga+Khan+hospital+opens+heart+unit+/-/1006/1213486/-/jo8kpw/-/
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject: Aga Khan builds $450m University complex in Arusha Reply with quote

http://www.busiweek.com/11/opportunities/1526-aga-khan-builds-450m-university-complex-in-arusha

East Africa Business Week

Aga Khan builds $450m University complex in Arusha
Monday, 15 August 2011 14:04 David Muwanga

ARUSHA, TANZANIA- The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is constructing a University complex in Arusha that is estimated to cost a total of $450.The announcement was made by the Aga Khan who paid a courtesy call on the East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera recently in Arusha, Tanzania.
The complex to be developed over the next 15 years is among several education and health projects undertaken within East Africa under the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).A statement issued by the East African Community secretariat said that in developing the multiple campuses and new programmes in Arusha and Nairobi, Aga Khan Develop0ment Network will invest over $700m in the region over the next 15 years, providing direct employment to 4,000 people.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vitamin A supplements for infants could save thousands of lives a year

26 Aug 11
Bottle with Vitamin A tables
Vitamin A supplements have benefits for those deficient in vitamins found in foods like sweet potato, eggs and dairy products

An international study suggests that giving vitamin A supplements to children in low and middle income countries could significantly cut rates of mortality, illnesses and blindness amongst those below the age of five.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and Pakistan's Aga Khan University have shown that vitamin A supplements reduce mortality amongst children from low and middle income countries by nearly a quarter (24 per cent). According to the study, published in the online version of the British Medical Journal, the supplements were found to bring particular benefits in reducing rates of diarrhoea and measles.

The researchers from the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention and Pakistan's Aga Khan University Hospital are now calling for vitamin A supplements to be given to all children who are at risk of not getting enough of the vitamin in their diet. They believe the benefits are so clear cut that trials comparing vitamin A to placebo are no longer ethical.

The findings are based on 43 trials in which some children received vitamin A while others received no intervention or a placebo. The sample included 215,633 apparently healthy children aged 6 months to 5 years in 19 countries, mostly in Asia. On average, the children were 2.5 years old when they were recruited for the trials and followed for about one year.

Lead author Dr Evan Mayo-Wilson, from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford, said: 'Our study shows that, until other sources are available, supplements should be given to all children who are at risk of vitamin A deficiency. After just one year children who had taken supplements were less likely to have died than children who received a placebo.

'We estimate that by providing supplements to all children in countries where they are at risk we could save up to 600,000 lives a year and prevent millions of serious infections. Vitamin A supplements are highly effective and cheap to produce and administer.

'Our study also shows that systematic literature reviews are cost-effective and ethically imperative. Recent editorials criticising vitamin A programmes have received international attention, but the evidence taken as a whole leaves little doubt that vitamin A prevents early childhood mortality.'

The largest clinical trial ever conducted ran from 1999 to 2004 and assigned about 1,000,000 children to receive vitamin A or placebo. Since that trial began, only one relatively small trial has examined vitamin A for childhood mortality.

'Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, the Chair of the Division of Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Pakistan, and the senior corresponding author of the study, said: 'This study underlines the need to shift the focus of attention towards an effective scale up of vitamin A supplementation programmes. We must ensure that the benefits are sustained with effective oversight by national programmes.'

Vitamin A is required for normal functioning of the visual and immune systems. It is an essential nutrient that cannot be synthesized by the human body, so it must be obtained through diet. Deficiency increases vulnerability to a range of infections including diarrhoea, measles, malaria and respiratory infections, which are the leading causes of childhood mortality.

According to recent estimates by the World Health Organisation, 190 million under-fives don't get enough vitamin A to stay healthy. Vitamin A is found in plants, such as the orange-fleshed sweet potato, eggs and dairy products. A high intake of synthetic vitamin A over a long period may lead to short-term side effects including vomiting, but side effects are rare, and taking supplements of vitamin A over relatively short periods (e.g. once every six months) should not cause serious adverse effects, says the study.

http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110826.html
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