AKU is an international university that has been working to improve the status of the nursing profession and promoting the quality of undergraduate & graduate nursing education in developing countries for the past 25 years.
AKU-SON began by offering a General Nursing Diploma education programme in Pakistan in 1980 and was the first school in Pakistan to offer an undergraduate degree in Nursing. Since then, it has expanded its scope to support nursing in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The University's first academic initiative outside Pakistan, the Advanced Nursing Studies (ANS) Programme, began in East Africa in 2001. Developed at the request of the governments and nursing leaders of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, it is designed to improve the quality of patient care by encouraging practicing nurses to enhance their expertise through the pursuit of higher education. Since then, AKUSON has initiated several programmes in Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan.
AKU-SON has been working with Syria since 2003; a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and Aga Khan Network Development (AKDN)/ Aga Khan University (AKU). Another Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for the period from 2008-2013. Since 2008, AKU-SON is providing technical assistance to Al-Baath University in Hama, to strengthen their Post RN BScN programme and help establish their BScN programme.
In these programmes, AKU-SON has undertaken capacity building efforts to strengthen government nursing education initiatives through curricular review, a focus on clinical practice, comprehensive faculty development, infrastructure improvement, and increased teaching-learning resources.
AKU-SON began working in Egypt in 2005 on the Aswan Nursing Program (ANP). The overall aim of this programme is to improve the quality of healthcare available in Aswan by improving nursing. The Aswan Nursing Programme (ANP) consists of three major components
Leadership and professional development amongst nurses in Aswan through increased higher education opportunities and needs-based short courses.
Establishment of a new Faculty of Nursing in Aswan through a public-private partnership with South Valley University in Aswan. The aim of this is to improve healthcare and the image of Nursing in the region. AKU-SON and Om Habibeh Foundation (OHF), a sister agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKND) are currently preparing a proposal for this project.
Improvement of nursing services at selected hospitals in Aswan; capacity building of nurses through classroom training and exposure visits to AKU. A training facility would be established at the hospital and appropriate policies and systems would be developed.
Since 2002, AKUSON has provided technical assistance to the nursing and midwifery diploma programmes at the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) in Afghanistan. AKUSON has also provided capacity building and strengthened government nursing education initiatives through curricular review and reforms, a focus on clinical practice, comprehensive faculty development, infrastructure improvement, and increased teaching-learning resources. The AKU program in Afghanistan will also provide consultancy to Afghanistan Midwifery Association to form a Council for Nursing and Midwifery to monitor the conduct of nursing and midwifery in Afghanistan.
Since 2008, AKU has, supported Kabul Medical University's BScN programme in setting academic policies, improving teaching quality and skills, establishing a well-equipped skills lab, preparing preliminary standards for accreditation, and establishing clinical training for students.