Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa travelled to Pakistan for a six-day working visit in late October 2018, which included stops in several districts of Gilgit-Baltistan as well as in Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, along with the capital city of Islamabad and the southern city of Karachi.
During their visit, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa examined approaches to poverty alleviation and development, and visited a number of AKDN institutions and projects aimed at improving quality of life.
In the mountainous north of Pakistan, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa visited several schools operated by the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), as well as community-managed schools, where they spent time with students, teachers and management. In Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, these included the Diamond Jubilee schools in Darkut (Silgan valley) and Bilhanz (Ishkoman valley), and the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School in Gahkuch (Punial valley). In the remote mountainous areas of the country, AKES schools have contributed significantly to increasing access to quality education.
Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa also surveyed disaster-mitigation work in areas vulnerable to natural hazards. Many villages in the mountainous north of Pakistan are vulnerable to flash flooding. In Gilgit-Baltistan in July 2018, unusually warm weather caused intensified melting of snow and glaciers which resulted in a large glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) which submerged farmland and destroyed houses in Badswat and Bilhanz villages (Ishkoman valley) in Ghizer district. The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has been supporting the local community by providing humanitarian assistance and relief. Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa also surveyed community-based mitigation work, including the construction of stone wall flood defenses, undertaken in the aftermath of an earlier disaster in the village of Darkut (Silgan valley), in Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Given the importance of energy in catalysing development, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa visited the Ahmedabad community-based hydropower project on the banks of the Hunza River in the valley of Central Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan and the Mogh community-based hydropower project in Garamchashma in Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), along with other partners, has contributed to both projects, which can help protect the environment by reducing the felling of trees for firewood, a cause of soil erosion. In addition, the electricity generated by the hydropower plants provides light for students to study after nightfall, and can reduce time spent on household chores.
While in Chitral district, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa visited the Aga Khan Girls Hostel in the village of Booni, which provides accommodation for female students from remote villages, and the Aga Khan Medical Centre Booni. In Garamchashma, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa also visited the Tehsil Headquarter Hospital, which is operated by the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) under a public-private partnership agreement. Both medical facilities, in Booni and Garamchashma, are part of a “hub and spokes” model of healthcare delivery connecting centres, including the Aga Khan University (AKU) Hospital in Karachi and standalone clinics in remote areas, through telemedicine and e-health services. This link allows for the remote treatment of patients and training of medical staff, minimizing barriers of distance and time, and facilitating access to high-quality health care in isolated areas at an affordable cost.
In Karachi, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa spent a day at the Aga Khan University (AKU) where they toured the new Centre for Innovation in Medical Education (CIME) and attended presentations on childhood malnutrition and stunting, youth mental health, and stem cell research. While in Karachi, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa also had further discussions with local leadership on poverty alleviation and development.
University of Washington and Aga Khan University sign agreement to further population health, research, service and education
SEATTLE — The University of Washington today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aga Khan University to codify partnership activities already underway and to leverage complementary strengths to further expand research, service and education in low- and middle-income countries.
The agreement was signed by UW President Ana Mari Cauce and Aga Khan University President Firoz Rasul. Representing the Aga Khan Development Network were Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa Aga Khan, nee Kendra Spears, UW Class of ‘12, and AKU Provost Carl Amrhein. The Princess played a key role in encouraging the nascent partnership.
“We are honored to partner with Aga Khan University to advance the health and well-being of communities around the globe. By combining our respective strengths and shared values, we can be a powerful force for creating access to healthcare and education, as well as supporting research and discovery,” Cauce said.
Early collaborative activities between UW and AKU have included the launch of a paid international internship program with positions in Africa and Asia for UW students, joint projects to build research capacity in HIV/AIDs and HPV, and a range of other faculty collaborations.
“Ultimately, this partnership is about two universities based on opposite sides of the globe coming together on the basis of their shared values to advance knowledge and create opportunities for learning and discovery that benefit people in both the developed and developing worlds,” Rasul said. “Even prior to the signing of this agreement we have begun collaborating on several important projects, and I am confident that we will have a significant impact in multiple countries in the years ahead.”
Under the agreement, the UW will offer the AKU and AKDN technical advice and guidance in data science and implementation science, access to formal degree and training programs, and advice and support in transforming the AKU into a research-intensive university. The parties will also seek to expand the number of joint research activities and student and faculty exchanges.
The University of Washington was founded in 1861 and is one of the pre-eminent public higher education and research institutions in the world. The UW has more than 100 members of the National Academies, elite programs in many fields, and annual standing since 1974 among the top five universities in receipt of federal research funding. Learn more at uw.edu.
The Aga Khan University is a pioneering institution of higher education that works to improve quality of life in the developing world and beyond. The University operates campuses and programs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom, and treats more than 2 million patients per year at seven hospitals and more than 300 medical centers. For more information, visit www.aku.edu.
AKU is one of 10 agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world’s largest private international development organizations. Working mainly in Africa and South and Central Asia, AKDN helps those in need to improve their own lives through a long-term, multifaceted approach to development that spans economic, social and cultural dimensions. For more information, please visit: www.akdn.org/
2019, March 4 - AKDN's Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa attended signing of M.O.U between AKU and University of Washington of an agreement to further population health, research, service and education. Princess Salwa played a key role in encouraging the partnership.
Photo: From left to right: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa Aga Khan, UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Aga Khan University President Firoz Rasul, UW Provost Mark Richards and AKU Provost Carl Amrhein.Mark Stone/University of Washington
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