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Aga Khan University set to expand
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Developing Musical Thought in Medical Students

The summer of 2008, when electives for the medical students were announced, several students found it surprising that a medical college elective would be titled ‘Rhythms in Evolution’. A primary intent of the said elective was to allow the interested students an exploration of their musical talent and the possibility of its application in medicine. In retrospect, going through that elective turned out an enjoyable, enriching, and melodious experience.

The elective involved two music classes per week, each lasting for about three hours. Three skeptic medical students, namely, Farwa, Abaseen, and Adil, each with only a limited prior exposure to music composition, enrolled for the class. A pre-course questionnaire was administered to assess the musical aptitude and interest of the three participants. The music room where the classes took place was a small room lined with computer stations and a view of the bright and sunny hills situated around the outskirts of Karachi. Except for a keyboard, perched on its stand at the far end, nothing about that room resonated a musical note. Dr. Jamsheer Talati, a general surgeon by profession and a trained classical pianist by passion, was the instructor. The computers were to be used for downloading and listening to audio files, to train the ear and wet sensibility for the main course, and to employ software to work with musical notations.

The first week of the course was devoted merely to studying the history and evolution of various genres of music over the ages, spanning music from the ancient ages, classics, rock, jazz, and techno. The activities comprised of extensive music listening and group presentations of the findings and experience. The presentations and discussions featured selected composers from different eras. By the end of the first week participants had heard and discussed a rich concoction of music from all ages and many regions of the world.

In the second week, participants took a closer look at the various elements and intricacies of music that bestow it the richness and variety that so often goes unappreciated: Rhythm, timing, frequency, timbre, organum, counterpoint and elaboration were therefore discussed. During the same week, participants listened to the works of eminent composers, including Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Bach, and Messian. The participants were encouraged to pick the emotion that the composer tried to communicate through music, and to understand how various tones and melodies were being exploited to create a scene in the mind of the listener. In medical language, this is known as the external locus, which is an emotion perceived to be expressed in a musical piece. The external locus is stronger than the internal locus; emotions felt in response to music [1]. Music, like speech, thus forms a mode of communication. Pleasant emotional responses to music have been localized to certain areas of the brain; ventral striatum, orbito-frontal cortex, amygdale and ventral-medial pre-frontal cortex [2]. Interestingly these regions of the brain are also relevant to motivation and reward, and judgment [2].

During the same week, participants were introduced to musical notation. Music Publisher 6; a computer software that allows the writing and playback of sheet music, was mastered and effectively used to develop musical notation. Over the course of the week that followed, these compositions were embellished upon using the concepts of counterpoint, organum, and variations of timing. Music notation is like a language; pitch, harmony and melody structure the communicating sound, whereas rhythm and meter give it temporality. It comes as no surprise that music training is considered to have potential for enhancing verbal skills [3-4].

The forth and final week of the elective, each participant was asked to choose a story or a piece of poetry and express it, or the emotion it evoked, in the form of sheet music. The written music was tried out on various instruments, with the help of Music Publisher 6, in order to experiment with the melody. Farwa, Adil, and Abaseen took, respectively, poems by the great Persian poet, Rumi and a character from the film Elephant Man, as inspiration for their compositions. The end of the fourth week marked the end of the elective. The participants had gained significant prowess in musical notation and composition, modifying and refining their original compositions and sharing them with each other. A post-elective assessment revealed they had developed an initial interest as well as a greater appreciation for music.

Farwa’s composition (Rumi)

Adil’s composition (Rumi)

Abaseen’s composition (The Elephant Man)

Music, like language, communicates shapes, patterns, textures, and scenarios. Neuroimaging studies have ascribed musical experience to the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system [5]. These neurons are responsible for how we detect the feelings conveyed by speech or music, ‘mirror’ them in our perception and generate a personalized response. Language, music, and motor activity converge at this very neural system. Musical appreciation can therefore intensify our emotional experience and enable us to empathize [6]. Skills acquired through training in fine-arts, such as music, help to cultivate empathy, emotional sensibility and consideration of humane aspects not taught by medical textbooks.

Adil Shah, Farwa Ali, Abaseen Afghan , Jamsheer Talati and Syed Ali are final year medical students at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan


1. Schubert, E. Locus of emotion: the effect of task order and age on emotion perceived and emotion felt in response to music. Journal of Music Therapy. 2007;44:344–368. [PubMed]

2. Blood, AJ; Zatorre, RJ. Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated with reward and emotion. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2001;98:11818–11823. doi: 10.1073/pnas.191355898. [PubMed]

3. Foxton, JM; Talcott, JB; Witton, C; Brace, H; McIntyre, F; Griffiths, TD. Reading skills are related to global, but not local, acoustic pattern perception. Nat Neurosci. 2003;6:343–344. [PubMed]

4. Patel, AD; Peretz, I; Tramo, M; Labrecque, R. Processing prosodic and music patterns: A neuropsychological investigation. Brain Lang. 1998;61:123–144. [PubMed]

5. Istvan Molnar-Szakacs and Katie Overy. Music and mirror neurons: from motion to ’e’motion. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2006 December; 1(3): 235–241.
doi: 10.1093/scan/nsl029.

6. Marie Forgeard, Ellen Winner, Andrea Norton, and Gottfried Schlaug, Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning. 2008 October 29. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003566.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


about 12 cases of 'Cerebral Hodgkin's
Lymphoma' been reported world wide

Coastweek -- Members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya presented a cheque of 105,800 shillings to the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi's Patient Welfare Fund to pay for treatment for Rukiya Mramba who was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer known as Cerebral Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

The 12 year old girl who was abandoned by her parents and lives with her grandmother in Kilifi was identified by field workers of the Aga Khan Health Services in Mombasa and referred to the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi for investigations.

Professor William Macharia, Consultant Paediatrician and Chair of the Department of Paediatrics at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, explained:

"After diagnosis, reports confirmed that Rukiya was suffering from a very rare but potentially treatable cancer- Cerebral Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

"This is a type of cancer that originates in the brain and spreads from one group of lymph to another.

Coastweek -- Dr. Prakash Patel [left], a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, presents a cheque for 105,800 shillings to Jane Wanyama [right], the Administration Director Clinical Programmes at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

"To date, there are about 12 cases reported world wide, and none have been as large and long standing as this."

"Through the Patient Welfare Programme of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, Rukiya was treated by Mr. M.M Qureshi (a neuro-surgeon) and Mr. Paresh Devani (a maxillofacial surgeon) who waived their specialist fee and through extensive surgery, successfully excised the brain tumour."

"Rukiya is now receiving chemotherapy for the next 12 months. She needs help from well-wishers because she requires funds for her 12 months chemotherapy, laboratory and x-ray examinations.

Her treatment is administered every two weeks at a cost of 30,000 shillings and in three months time she will have to undergo radiotherapy which costs about 60,000 shillings."

Professor Macharia concluded:

"The Patient Welfare Programme of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi is run with contributions donated by well-wishers, corporate partners and donors.

"With the number of patients in need for specialized treatment increasing each year, the demand for the Hospital's welfare assistance exceeds the inflow of funds.

"Our programme is in need of continuous contributions from supporters."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer Programme 2009
Expressions of Diversity: A Contemporary Introduction to Muslim Cultures

AKU-ISMC, in collaboration with the Simon Fraser University – The Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (SFU-CCSMSC), offered a two week Summer Programme, ‘Expressions of Diversity: A Contemporary Introduction to Muslim Cultures'. The course was held in London from July 20 – 31, 2009.

The Summer Programme aimed at providing participants a window into the diversity of cultural and social productions of Muslims, past and present. The programme structure included sessions on art, science, music and other topics exploring the various facets of the history, culture and contemporary challenges of Muslims. Classroom sessions were supplemented by a series of co-curricular activities (i.e. public talk, neighbourhood walk, cultural event, museum visit, film show) which were included in the programme to ensure participants were provided with a rich, vibrant and multicultural environment

The Programme was attended by 35 participants from Australia, Belgium, Canada, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, UK, and USA. The faculty was drawn from AKU-ISMC, SFU-CCSMSC, the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), and the Institute of Ismaili Studies.

Participants found the programme to be a ‘wonderful, thought provoking course'. Many appreciated the ‘non-partisan' approach taken by the diverse and experienced faculty. The course was found to be ‘motivating and inspiring' and all participants felt it exceeded their expectations.

Following the success of the Summer Programme last year and this year, this Programme will now be offered in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada (hosted by the SFU-CCSMSC).

This Summer Programme is part of a series of Short Courses offered by the Professional Programmes Unit at AKU-ISMC.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISSUE NO. 3237
September 11 - 17, 2009
Coastweek Kenya



Coastweek -- Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH,N) has emerged the top Superbrand in the brand category of Education and Healthcare facilities and the overall position of 13, in a brand research where over one thousand brands in East Africa were considered.

According to the Superbrands 2008/2009 selection process, the endorsement provides evidence to existing and potential consumers, media, employees and investors of the exceptional standing that the Superbrands have achieved.

Pauline Ngatia marketing manager AKUH,N said "the Hospital has focused on reinforcing the core brand values of Quality, Impact, Relevance and Access and has positioned itself as the leading tertiary health care and teaching hospital in the region".

Apart from the many facility improvements, and new structures, such as the upcoming 50 million dollar Heart and Cancer Center, that will provide high quality cardiac and oncology care to patients, Aga Khan University Hospital has also embarked on a Public Awareness Programme where the hospital provides free lectures and examinations on various medical conditions including heart disease, maternal and child health care among others.

The free breast and cervical cancer examinations are held every last Saturday of the month.

"Those we serve can expect the highest quality of care, with the best possible evidence-based outcomes in facilities that are well equipped and have an excellent infrastructure of systems, processes and technology" Pauline added.

According to Superbrands East Africa over 2,500 East Africans were asked to vote for the best brands "this detailed survey involved interviewing experts and consumers, the latter by the Nairobi based TNS Research International team, providing the most comprehensive snapshot of brand success in the region and evidence as to which brands are well regarded in the markets of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syrian delegation visits AKU

September 15, 2009

Karachi, Pakistan

Aga Khan University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministries of Health and Higher Education of the Government of Syria to help enhance nursing capacity in the country. One of the aims of this partnership is to provide technical assistance to the Ministries for strengthening the government-run Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) programmes by introducing research-based and relevant curriculum, as well as assisting with the capacity building of faculty.

The University is currently working with Al-Baath University in the Hama Governorate in Syria. Dr Mohamad Ayman Al Sabbagh, Dean, Faculty of Nursing, Al-Baath University, Ms Marlen Salloum Hashem, Director, BScN programme – an AKU School of Nursing alumni and the first woman to hold a director’s position in Syria – along with faculty from Al-Baath University visited AKU during the week of September 2, 2009.

The team was introduced to AKU’s academic administration processes and infrastructure, focussing on the BScN programme. They also engaged in a series of workshops on curriculum development and implementation, clinical teaching and using learning materials. The Syrian team visited clinical sites, both in the public and private sectors, with a view to enhance clinical practice in Syria.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning Is an SMS Away: Mobile Phones in Education
Posted on 17/09/2009

Remote teachers can request assistance by uploading text messages to Moodle (a virtual learning environment) through which faculty can track comments and provide support. Photo: AKDN Penina Onyango, Head Teacher at Kawino Secondary School in Kisumu, Kenya, no longer awaits the arrival of Brown Onguko – her course facilitator at AKU’s Institute for Educational Development, East Africa (AKU-IED, EA) – from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to help resolve her teaching challenges. Instead, she has a much better bargain: she can communicate with Onguko when she actually needs his help, thanks to her mobile phone and text messaging, which costs her as little as Ksh10 (US$ 0.13) per message

Although the University is already using eLearning technology to enhance outcomes for students, it relies on the use of the internet, access to which is still limited, slow or expensive in many developing countries. In Africa, less than 5 per cent of people use the internet – in Kenya only 2.2 per cent of households have internet access and the figure drops to 0.6 per cent in Tanzania, compared to 72.1 per cent in Canada and 61.7 per cent in the US, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2009 report Measuring the Information Society.

The mobile phone, however, has become the single most widespread information and communication technology tool today. ITU points out that two-thirds of the world’s mobile phone subscriptions are from the developing world, with Africa continuing to experience the highest growth rate. While just one in 50 Africans had a mobile phone at the beginning of this century, over a quarter of the continent’s population has one today. In 2007, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda had about 30, 20 and 13 mobile phone subscriptions for every 100 people respectively.

AKU-IED, EA has begun exploring the promise of mobile telephony in education in Kisumu, one of six sites where an Educational Leadership and Management certificate course is offered. The five other sites, Mombasa and Nairobi in Kenya, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Kampala in Uganda, will be brought into the fold later. Normally, course facilitators travel over 1,000 km from Dar es Salaam to Kisumu to physically support participants through the school or workplace-based stage of the course. But as Onguko, who initiated the mobile technology programme at the Institute, explains, “the field sessions entail discussions about the participants’ action research study, which can very well be done through SMS without having to board a plane, book a room in a hotel for 10 days, and then hire a taxi to visit all the schools involved.”

Instead, 22 public sector head teachers and three Kenyan Ministry of Education officers were offered the opportunity to participate in learning using a mobile phone in 2008. Participants could text message their facilitators or even their colleagues for help. They met regularly in groups of three to discuss issues in establishing new practices in their schools and shared their learning with AKU-IED, EA through SMS messages, which were then uploaded to Moodle (a virtual learning environment) that helped faculty track individual comments and provide support to the larger group. Ouma Felix Otieno, Head Teacher and one of the course participants from Opande Primary School said, “The service kept us linked together, kept us updated and involved all in the programme. It kept participants on their toes, in line with the facilitators’ expectations, and extended our learning areas even to the field and home, not necessarily only in the school or classroom.”

“The experience of teaching in this manner has been a journey of learning,” added Dr Jane Rarieya, Head, Teaching Programmes, AKU-IED, EA. “At times it was overwhelming because I would get a large number of messages in one go, especially after a seminar or cluster meeting. Fortunately these would be stored on my phone and I could provide well-thoughtout responses to the participants.”

A significant feature of AKU-IED, EA’s programme is learning through practice. But as Dr Iffat Farah, Acting Director, AKU-IED, EA points out, “providing support for such learning is extremely resource intensive. Text messaging using mobile phones makes it possible to provide field support to a larger number of teachers at a much lower cost.” In this experiment, text messaging cost around US$ 4 per participant, versus an estimated US$ 120 per person for traditional face-to-face visits by just one facilitator, in the three-month support period.

Like any innovation in its infancy, the mobile learning system is not without flaws; beside technical difficulties such as lost messages in cyberspace, there is also the question of maintaining assessment quality, since a phone service is essentially replacing physical monitoring. However, according to Dr Rarieya, “the course participants who were in frequent contact with their faculty supervisors through text messaging submitted good action research reports and we attribute that partly to the support they got through SMS. Moreover, mobile learning has allowed us to provide more frequent support to participants from distant and remote locations.” Lessons learned from this experiment will contribute to AKU-IED, EA’s ongoing research in information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education, conducted in partnership with the universities of Calgary and Cambridge. This research aims to study the impact of ICT-related interventions for professional development and training.

Mobile technology may well be one of the critical components of teaching and learning in the future in the developing world, enabling AKU-IED, EA to offer high quality, context-relevant programmes in East Africa
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bureaucracy major hurdle in uplift process
Source: OUR STAFF REPORTER Submitted 17 hrs 17 mins ago KARACHI -

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has said that City government has allocated thousands of acre land in Master Plan for Education City in Gadap Town. This project would in future prove role model for other cities of Pakistan as thousands of students would be able to have quality educational facilities here.

He expressed these views while inspecting the land allocated for Education City of Agha Khan University.

Nazim Karachi said that all possible help and coordination would be provided to Agha Khan University for establishment of Education City so that students from all over the country could be benefited from this project.

Representatives of Agha Khan University and Qatar based construction firm Nadir Badruddin, Zaheer Rahim, EDO Revenue Sajjad Ali Abbasi, EDO Master Plan Atique Baig, M.D KWSB Qutub-ud-din Shaikh and other officers of city government also accompanied city nazim during this visit.
Earlier Nazim Karachi discussed the details of Education City Project with concerned officials and representatives of Agha Khan University. He also directed M.D Karachi Water & Sewerage Board to plan the provision of water and sewerage facilities to Education City and also construction of small water reservoirs for storage of rainwater.

Officers of city government were instructed to extend all possible help and adopt such a strategy that could ensure early start of construction work for Education City in Gadap Town.

City Nazim on this occasion also inspected the construction work of cadet collage in Gadap Town and directed concerned officials to further expedite work on this project.

Afterwards City Nazim with the delegation went to CNG Bus Terminal and reviewed the facilities provided there for passengers.

The delegation on this occasion praised the efforts of City Nazim in the rapid progress of Karachi and expressed interest in running CNG buses in Karachi. APP adds: City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has said that certain elements in the bureaucracy are creating hurdles in the development process in Karachi.

They are trying to withhold even approved funds for city government due to which it was currently facing financial crisis, he said while talking to media representatives after attending the Eid Milan Party held at City Naib Nazim Secretariat.
UC Nazims, Haq Parast Councilors and opposition members were also present on this occasion.
Nazim Karachi said that some bureaucrats seems to be mentally sick while withholding the files of approved funds which is adversely affecting the ongoing development process in Karachi.
“This situation is not good for the country also because development in Karachi means developing Pakistan and even a temporary stop in the development process in Karachi would prove harmful to the national economy”.
Replying a question City Nazim referred to widely appreciation of Karachi Development Fund, setup by City Government for smooth completion and maintenance of development projects in Karachi and said it has provided proof of citizen’s interests in the progress of their city.
In this way the citizens have expressed their desire to take part in the city’s development which is a good omen, he said adding that “ with public encouragement we will soon start working on many mega projects for Karachi including mass transit system”.
Mustafa Kamal said that operation of Karachi Development Fund is being expanded and now all commercial banks in Karachi will collect donations for KDF and for citizen’s convenience city government has opened KDF accounts in all commercial banks.
He pointed out that even a little bit coordination and cooperation from citizens in this regard would provide great help in continuing the development process which would prove beneficial not only for people in Karachi but entire Pakistanis.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sindh govt to form Education City Authority

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to form Education City Authority (ECA) to formally start work on the Education City project comprising 8900 acres of land in the city. It was also decided that prominent businessman Zubair Motiwala would head the ECA.

These decisions were taken at a high-level meeting held at the Chief Minister (CM) House and chaired by Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah. The meeting discussed in detail the perspectives, planning and scope of the project sited in the Malir area between Superhighway and National Highway.

According to an official handout, the ECA would be responsible for framing bylaws, aims and objectives, sphere and scope of the scheme within three weeks. Shah ordered preparation of a master plan for the scheme and said that legal issues would be resolved soon by constituting a team of lawyers and experts in this regard.

Shah said that all stakeholders would be properly looked after and provided with required facilities at the Education City scheme, adding that public-private partnership would be encouraged for the enhancement of education in Sindh.

Shah also said that Sindh appreciated the Aga Khan University Education Board’s (AKU-EB) efforts apropos of setting up Agha Khan University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Education City, adding that the concerned departments should process accordingly and hand over the required land to the AKU-EB.

The meeting was informed that the AKU-EB would establish its campus at an estimated cost of $41 million and that 10,000 jobs would be created under the project, while residences, parks and other facilities would also be provided.

Shah emphasised that the current government was making efforts for promoting, furthering and developing education in Sindh with the prime objective of improving the quality of education.

Besides Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, officials of the departments of education, revenue, land utilisation and finance, Sindh Board of Investment, and representatives of Agha Khan University and Agha Khan Development Network were also present at the meeting. staff report
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Breast Cancer Awareness Day

October 17, 2009

Aga Khan University is commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 17, 2009 to discuss the advances in prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation strategies.

Time and Venue
10:00 - 11:30 am
AKU Auditorium, Karachi, Pakistan


Radiotherapy - Benefits and Side Effects
Dr Farrok Karsan
Consultant, Radiation Oncologist

Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
Dr Adnan Zaidi
Consultant, Medical Oncologist

Breast Cancer - Prevention and Future
Dr Shaista M Khan
Consultant, Breast Surgeon

A patients' perspective: Going through the experience together patient and her spouse


Panel Discussion and Q/A session
Dr Nehal Masood
Dr Adnan Zaidi
Dr Shaista M Khan
Dr Nadeem Abbasi
Dr Azmina Vali Mohammad

Mammogram will be performed ‘free of cost' for limited patients according to an established criterion.

For further details, please contact:
Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
Tel: +92 21 348 2692

Unpacking the Journey

Panel Discussion with Nizar Lalani and Njane Mugambi
Wednesday October 21
Lecture Hall 3 3-4 pm
Sounds of the Subcontinent
AKU Auditorium 4-6 pm

Nizar Lalani and Njane Mugambi are performing with a group of six musicians from Kenya and Pakistan for the AKU family in Karachi on Friday, 23rd of October 2009.

For those interested to get a glimpse behind the scenes, the musicians will discuss the challenges and possibilities of their encounter and the potential to extract models of musical interaction for educational
settings. They will also speak about the spiritual dimensions of their work in the context of a cross-cultural experience. A question and answer session will allow time for direct interaction.

The Panel Presentation will be immediately followed at 4 pm by
"Sounds of the Subcontinent" presented by the Faculty of Arts and
Sciences. This will provide the opportunity to explore the musical traditions
of two countries.


Sounds of the Subcontinent: Theory vs. Oral Tradition

October 21, 2009

Aga Khan University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan invites you to a lecture and musical demonstration on Sounds of the Subcontinent: Theory vs. Oral Tradition on October 21, 2009.

Time and Venue
4:00 - 6:00 pm
AKU Auditorium, Karachi, Pakistan


•Lecture on Ethnomusicology in South Asia - Theory vs. Oral Tradition by Dr Regula Burckhardt Qureshi University of Alberta, Canada

•Performance and Demonstration by Ms Saffia Saleem Beyg, Director, Sampurna
Artists: Gul Muhammad (on Sarangi), Hasan (on Tabla) and Turab Ali (on Sitar)
Admission is free and on first come first serve basis

For any further queries or information, please contact:
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Aga Khan University
Tel: +92 21 3 499 4350, 3498 5169 Ext. 114/208
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘A journey in sound’ begins with aplomb

Thursday, October 22, 2009
By our correspondent


Agha Khan University’s Auditorium rocked with loud music as the first day of the festival “A journey in sound” began with aplomb and promise on Wednesday. Njane Mugambi from Kenya and Nizar Lalani from Pakistan took the audience on another level as they sang the dhamaal of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and mixed it with African music.

After the mind blowing performance, the duo sat together for a question-answer session with the audience in which they spoke about the value and importance of amalgamating education and music so that students also learn the cultural aspect of music and get a chance to show their multiple talents. “Not many people can define music in its truer form; neither can we, but it’s not as complicated as it’s made out to be,” Nizar Lalani said in an answer to a question.

Later in the day, an enthralling presentation was given by Dr Regula Burckhardt Qureshi on Ethnomusicology in South Asia, explaining that the only reason for people to connect, create and express music is love. “Love is the only way to connect people from all continents as it has the power to change thinking and lives. You don’t need to get into many definitions rather feel it and it will do the rest of the work for you,” she said. After the presentation, Safia Saleem Baig sang a raag by Ustad Hamid Hussain Khan. Before she began singing, she said, “Every Sur has an identity, just put a bit of love to it and it will come.”

Safia Saleem Baig is a self taught vocalist and instructor who has dedicated her life to the cause of preserving classical music in Pakistan. While introducing her fellow musicians, she said, “We are not from an organization rather we belong to Sampuran (a non-profit association) and will try and keep up your interest in our sort of music”.

This was quite an understatement by the vocalist as her raag was not only appreciated but she got a thundering applause from the audience as well. All in all it was a pleasant evening where people left their inhibitions and enjoyed themselves.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unrelenting desire for spiritual freedom through music

Friday, October 23, 2009
By By Saher Baloch


Various literature and textbooks in the history have referred to music as the food for the soul. If the right chord touches the heart, it is said to soothe the mind and body of an individual, freeing them from all worries and stresses that are pent up inside. Nizar Lalani and Njane Mugambi are two people with a mission of accomplishing spiritual freedom through the music they create.

Lalani has 30 years experience of composing and producing music, and has worked with numerous celebrated artistes, including Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. His partner Mugambi has had varied experiences in life - as an academic, a bandleader, and even a clarinetist. Mugambi has been combining music with academia for the past 15 years. The duo first came together after a performance in Cape Town, and thought of forming their band with musicians who shared the same wavelength, mentally and spiritually.

“For me, music is not about having a guitar in your hand and shouting out vocals. It is to infuse new ideas and feelings together to form a connection with the wide world outside,” Lalani said while talking to The News at the Aga Khan University’s sports complex.

“Music brings people together, but in our country, it seems to be least preferred despite the fact that our culture and heritage is full of musical history,” he said. Lalani claimed that there’s a need to have a proper music industry in Pakistan, as it would bring the best out of all artistes. “This would bring together the efforts of all, rather than each of us going our separate ways and being a bit scattered,” he said.

Mugambi explained that in a lot of countries, the prevalent thinking is that prioritizing music over economy would not be beneficial, but in fact, the converse is true. “America is the only country where they have a higher gross domestic product (GDP) and a booming entertainment industry at the same time, and that’s where they beat the pack.”

Agreeing with Mugambi, Lalani said that in Pakistan, interpretations of almost everything have been complicated and this thinking prevents many to think out of the box. “Look at where Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan reached. He was worshipped by many because he didn’t think about why and how he should expand his talent; he just did it and left an example to be followed by many.”

Both Lalani and Mugambi said that they want to reach out to the masses and continue working not just in Kenya and Pakistan but in as many countries they could and in places where they could absorb positive and spiritual energies. “If academically trained musicians and teachers come together, it would be quite good for everyone as music is the biggest de stressor of all times and can work wonders if done properly,” Lalani said.

The duo are currently performing at a music festival organized by the AKU, and Mugambi said that he wanted to see everyone dancing and enjoying themselves. “In any field, the fundamentals always remain the same. It is just the technique you apply that counts and makes a difference.”
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan University and University of California, San Francisco form Partnership to Help the Underprivileged

Related: UCSF Press Release

2 November 2009 — The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Aga Khan University (AKU) signed a memorandum of understanding today to advance their common goal to promote equitable human advancement and social justice in the less privileged parts of the world.

The agreement was signed at the Capitol Building in Sacramento by Haile T Debas, MD, executive director of Global Health Sciences at UCSF, and AKU President Firoz Rasul, in the presence of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder and Chancellor of AKU.

“This partnership strengthens UCSF’s mission to advance health worldwide by promoting the development of human resources for health,” said Debas at the signing ceremony. “AKU’s highly regarded, community-based nursing and medical education in Africa and Asia will enable UCSF to extend its commitment to working collaboratively to improve health and reduce disease around the world.”

The agreement will initially focus on the creation of integrated primary health care models across East Africa and Asia with an emphasis on the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity. It also will include developing needed human resources for health through formal education programs and building the capacity of the community and health care providers to develop responsive health systems.

“Through the creation of integrated health care systems, we will be able to build midwifery / family medicine training programs that serve the needs of the community and open new opportunities in multidisciplinary research and policy advocacy,” said Dr El-Nasir Lalani, AKU Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.

This agreement builds on previous linkages between the two institutions in family medicine and midwifery. The current agreement could potentially grow to include other areas of the health sciences.

“With this partnership, the University of California, San Francisco’s internationally recognised expertise will be able to impact parts of the world that would not otherwise benefit from these capabilities,” stated AKU President Firoz Rasul. “Partnerships such as this one build capacity in the developing world where it is needed most, but more importantly, they enable innovation and the creation of knowledge across our globalising world.”


For more information, please contact:

Kristen Bole, UCSF (415) 476-2557

Temina Lalani-Shariff, Aga Khan University

Semin Abdulla
Secrétariat de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan
E-mail :
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pneumonia kills more children than measles, malaria, AIDS combined
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
By our correspondent


Pneumonia kills more children who are less than five years of age than measles, malaria and AIDS combined, said Dr Ghaffar Billo, professor in the department of paediatrics and child health at Aga Khan University (AKU) during a seminar held on Monday at the AKU in connection with World Pneumonia Day.

Billo said that while the disease affects children and families everywhere in the world, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are the worst affected, as 98 per cent of infant deaths occur because of pneumonia in these regions. In Pakistan, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that one in every five cases of death among children is due to pneumonia, he said. He said that air borne droplets and indoor pollution caused by cooking and heating with bio-mass fuel such as wool, coal and dung are among the causes of this infection in children.

The doctor said that efforts and participation at the community level would bear no fruit unless the government does something about it. The most unfortunate thing is that even while having the resources for it, the government prefers not to do anything to prevent it,� he said.

National Immunization Technical Advisory Group Chairman Dr Tariq Bhutta did not agree with Billo�s assessment, and said that there is a large supply of vaccines for pneumonia available in the market, but most citizens dont come forward to get their kids vaccinated.

He said that the high price of the vaccines is one reason for common citizen�s reluctance, but most of the vaccines have now been included in the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), adding that Pakistan was the first country in South Asia to introduce vaccine against Haemophilis Influenza B. Though the pneumococcal vaccine is currently available in Pakistan at Rs12,000 which is costly for poor people, the vaccine will be available free of cost at EPI centres around the country by January 1, 2011, Bhutta said.

Billo added that the protection of children since the day they are born is very important. Breast feeding in the first six months of life along with good nutrition and adequate hygiene can prevent many cases of pneumonia, he said.

AKU Paediatrics and Child Health Department Chairman Professor Iqtidar A. Khan emphasised the fact that new vaccines could only have their full effect on reducing pneumonia if parents, doctors, and every district health officer ensured that every child was administered the entire course of vaccines.


World Diabetes Day

November 14, 2009

Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi is commemorating World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2009 to discuss the prevention, complications, best diet and treatment for diabetes.

Time and Venue
2:00 - 5:00 pm
AKU Auditorium, Karachi, Pakistan



Prevention of diabetes and its complications

Dr Najmul Islam, Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist

What is the best diet for diabetics?

Ms Faiza Shoaib, Clinical Nutritionist

Keep in touch with your diabetes

Ms Saira Suleman Hudani, Diabetes Nurse Educator

Treating diabetes – present and future

Dr Jaweed Akhter, Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist

Patients' Experiences

Panel Discussion

Dr Abdul Jabbar, Dr Naeem Ul Haque, Dr Qamar Masood, Dr Aisha Sheikh, Ms Noor Jehan Allana and Dr Romana Iqbal

Health Stalls from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

For further details, please contact:
Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
Tel: +92 21 348 2696
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graduation 2009
•Speech by Mr Firoz Rasul, President Aga Khan University

PGME Graduation Ceremony 2009

Aga Khan University (AKU) held its 15 th Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) graduation ceremony on November 7, 2009 at the Stadium Road campus, Karachi, Pakistan. The 146 graduates - 65 interns, 68 residents and 13 fellows – were from as diverse fields of specialisation as cardiothoracic surgery, emergency medicine, neonatal paediatrics, neurosurgery and psychiatry among several others. Graduates, in their resplendent braided robes and the sirpoash (the academic cap), received their certificates from the University President Firoz Rasul and Ambassador Saidullah Khan Dehlavi, Chairman, AKU Board of Trustees. Dr Bo Lindblad, Professor Emeritus, International Child Health, Global Health Division, Department of Public Health, Karolinska Institutet and Professor Emeritus, Department of Paediatrics, Aga Khan University, was chief guest at the event.

Congratulating the graduates, President Firoz Rasul said that AKU's PGME programmes are the resource that produce highly qualified and superbly trained health professionals who help meet the health needs of the region. “Now you have opportunities to develop innovative medical technologies and practices that are culturally sensitive and contextually relevant,” he said. He hoped that graduates would be committed to taking the best practices learned at AKU out into the community, to be able to positively influence society.

Dr Lindblad emphasised the need for high quality and relevant research that could help make a difference to public health. “The importance of women's education and emancipation cannot be overated and needs your input to ensure health in the next generation,” he stressed. Safe motherhood and delivery and neonatal care, vaccinations, TB detection, prevention and care, improved water and sanitation facilities would make a difference to the health of populations. Relevant research would also help relieve several of the chronic ‘lifestyle' diseases that affect South Asia, like low birth weight, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.

Speaking on behalf of all graduates, Dr Sunniya Javaid and Dr Munizeh Khan gave the valedictory speeches during the ceremony.

The PGME programme has graduated over 1,758 specialists to date and over 30 per cent of the University's clinical faculty includes its own PGME graduates


Address by Mr Firoz Rasul
President, Aga Khan University


Chief Guest, Professor Bo Lindblad of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and Professor Emeritus at AKU

Chairman of AKU's Board of Trustees – Ambassador Saidullah Khan Dehlavi and Mrs. Dehlavi


Provost – Dr. William Doe

Dean of the Medical College – Dr. Farhat Abbas

Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education – Dr. Mumtaz Khan

Graduates, Proud Parents, and Distinguished Guests

Faculty and Staff of the Aga Khan University

As Salaam Walaikum and welcome to the Post Graduate Medical Education (PGME) Graduation Ceremony.

To the PGME Graduates – Well done! Your hard work and perseverance has enabled you to accomplish this milestone. To get to this point many of you have balanced multiple roles and we are proud of your dedication and success.

To all the families of the PGME Graduates – Thank you and congratulations. It is your support and encouragement that has enabled our PGME graduates to attain this goal. So let us take a moment to acknowledge your contributions to the successes we celebrate today.

Of course we must not forget to acknowledge the hard work and efforts of all the Programme Directors and Coordinators, faculty and staff – it is your tireless efforts that enable the success of not only the PGME programme as a whole but in particular – our graduates today. Also invaluable is the contribution to PGME by the respective section and department heads.

Today is an opportune time to reflect on the history of PGME at AKU. Postgraduate training programmes at AKU started in 1986 and the Department of Postgraduate Medical Education was established in 1995. Since then AKU's PGME programmes are the resource that produce quality academic faculty for the region.

Based on its success in Pakistan, the PGME programme was introduced in East Africa. Currently AKU runs 5 PGME programmes there: Anesthesiology, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Radiology, and Pathology. And we are adding to that mix by launching 3 more fellowship programmes in Pakistan: Neurovascular, Adult Infectious Diseases, and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

The PGME model is also being introduced in Kabul which has proven to be a fertile ground for collaboration and capacity building enabling AKU to support quality health initiatives in the region.

In pursuit of this quality and excellence, AKU remains committed to the highest standards in education. This requires constant and consistent assessment, evaluation and appraisal so that improvements are identified and implemented.

As AKU's PGME Programme emulates global best practices to uphold our international standards – we are constantly reviewing internal processes to ensure quality. For example this year, we piloted end of the year examinations for all residents. From next year, the examination results will be analysed and evolve into criteria for promotion.

Another important quality measure has been the strengthening of the Intern induction process which has become more rigorous. This year for the first time candidates were required to undergo multiple mini interviews – a novel experience indeed and one that ensured higher quality admissions.

AKU is well aware that it is only by openly discussing challenges that we are able to move forward and remain at the forefront of academic postgraduate medical education programmes. And of course produce high quality specialists to serve the region.

We are indeed proud to have added substantial value and capacity to the health services in this region. Graduates to-date include: 927 Interns, 617 Residents, and 68 Fellows – a total of 1,612 health professionals.

The number of graduates this year is also significant: 65 Interns, 68 Residents, and 13 Fellows – resulting in 146 more well qualified and superbly trained health professionals to help meet the health needs of this region.

In fact two-thirds of all PGME graduates are working in Pakistan and one-third of all clinical faculty at AKU are graduates of our own PGME programmes. This year alone, almost 400 Interns, Residents and Fellows are on-board; all of whom are essential parts of the university and enable us to fulfill a key component of AKU's mission: to positively impact our society.

Postgraduate Medical Education remains a core function of AKU and has yielded significant influence on the practice and dissemination of academic medicine in Pakistan and the region.

As AKU graduates, you stand on the shoulders of others who have gone before you – and have contributed to the improvement of health care. Now you have opportunities to develop innovative medical technologies and practices that are culturally sensitive and contextually relevant.

As you have no doubt heard in your time here, AKU emphasizes the focus on continuous learning and growth. And AKU understands that growth is about getting better – not just getting bigger. So AKU is committed to helping you translate these innovations into ethical global best practices. We cannot grow without you – it is your expertise and intellect that help AKU remain the change agent and role model it has always been. As representatives of AKU, we hope that you will remain committed to taking the best practices learned here out into the community; and helping to advance the innovative spirit that epitomises AKU.

You are graduating from a pre-eminent institution for medical education and there are many who will depend on your leadership. The strength of leaders is their ability to engage and motivate those around them – so I urge you to use your knowledge judiciously and go bravely into the future to fulfill your dreams and ours.

Let me close with a quotation by His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor, the Aga Khan University, made during the Convocation Ceremonies in November, 2003:

“ The path we have chosen is not easy to chart – and it is certainly not risk free. But it is both a necessary and an exciting road – filled with the promise of high adventure. Even as our University moves on down such a path, so I hope will each of you … for wherever you go, this University also goes – we are inevitably a part of one another's future.”

Welcome to the AKU alumni family – I encourage you to stay connected to us and to remain focused on positively impacting the community here.

Once again, congratulations to you all.

Enjoy your day!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote\11\18\story_18-11-2009_pg12_11

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

KESC, AKU ink accord for grid station

KARACHI: The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and the Aga Khan University entered a joint venture by signing an agreement on Tuesday to establish a new 132-kilovolt shared grid station.

According to a press release issued by the KESC, the utility’s CEO Tabish Gauhar and Aga Khan University President Firoz Rasul signed the agreement.

The new grid station will allow a reliable supply of electricity to the Aga Khan University for the healthcare services they provide to the country. It will also cater to the future power need of the university and hospital that is expected to grow by 16 megawatts by the year 2022. He said that a task force comprising of professionals from KESC and AKUH will oversee, manage and implement the planning, designing, construction and completion of the grid station that will cost Rs 450 million, which both organisations will share equally. The grid will be commissioned in September 2011 and will relieve the overloaded grids of Civic Centre, Baloch Colony and Gulshan-e-Iqbal. It will also partially meet the requirement of future load growth in PECHS, Bahadurabad area, KDA Scheme-I and adjoining areas. staff report
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fall 2009 An Evening With...Lecture Series

Building New Campuses In the Islamic World

November 16, 2009

"Drawing on Islamic City-Building Traditions to Create a 21st Century Community of Learning"

David Dixon, FAIA
Principal in charge of Planning and Urban Design
Goody, Clancy & Associates

Lecture is free and open to the public.
Lecture is on Monday at 5:30 pm in Room 3-133
For further information please call 617 253 1400 or visit the web at


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
(Wiley, 2008).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Convocation 2009


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
Distinguished Guests
Faculty and Staff, Proud Parents and most important,
the Graduands
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.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key University Officers

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.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tibaijuka named Agakhan University Trustee

Nairobi, 14 Jan 10

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.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.”
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking for the best and the brightest . . . to lead EA
By CATHERINE RIUNGU (email the author)
Posted Sunday, January 31 2010 at 12:31

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
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

Contact: Gerdien Jonker

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.)

Our on-line registration system is now available and can be found at the following links: or

Please visit the website ( 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,
Ellen Vaillancourt
Coordinator, CCSMSC
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
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan University Donates Computers

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 (icon_cool.gif 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.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan University Hospital Opens Kitengela Centre

providing primary healthcare services, on-site
laboratory testing using fully automated equipment

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.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKU wins SCUP Award...

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
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kenyan heart patients enjoy free treatment
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.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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."
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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