​​Beautiful new Paediatrics clinics ​​open at Women & Child Health building

Paediatricians like Dr Salman Kirmani don't get out much (because they are at AKU all the time). However, he did discover MagnifiScience Centre because his son was classmates with the son of its director Christoph Sprung. At one point the two men wondered if more could not be done.

The outcome of their ambition, amply supported by Sabrina Dawood, is the ocean-themed wonderland on the first floor of the Women & Child Health building dedicated to the Paediatrics clinics, which was inaugurated at Aga Khan University on December 1, 2023, Friday.  

​“We desired something fun, safe, and inviting for the children," said Dr Kirmani, the chair of the WCH, as the floor was inaugurated. “Our direction was simple: make sure the kids absolutely love it. And [TDF] has delivered beyond our wildest expectations."

The first floor now accommodates the Child Development & Rehabilitation Center, which includes one room for Child Assessment & Behavior Lab, two rooms for Occupational Therapy, one for Speech Therapy, two Observation rooms, and three for Neuro-Rehabilitation clinic. The Paediatrics section is equipped with 34 clinic rooms, two rooms designed for sedation, two for assessments, two nursing stations, along with a counseling room, a distribution area, staff and housekeeping facilities, and a storage space measuring 13 feet by 12 feet.

“For me, someone who has been here since 2002, I think this WCH building has been a dream in the making," said Chair of Paediatrics & Child Health Dr. Fyezah Jehan. “I have seen my mentors and previous chairs talking about it. It's a moment that we should applaud. I think this is a first for AKU that we have a space that is child-friendly and parent-friendly."

The ribbon and cake to open the floor were cut by Ayesha, the first patient of neurologist Prof. Shahnaz Ibrahim. "Aysha cut the ribbon at our earlier facility, and now, she's independent, she's doing everything, she's working with all the help she got from our Child Development Centre," Prof. Shahnaz said.

Dean Adil Haider announced that it would be called the Hashoo building after the Hashwani family who made a significant donation. “It is amazing how, if you have an incredible person who sets a vision, a bunch of fantastic people come together and bring that vision to life," he said referring to His Highness, the Aga Khan.

The building was initially envisioned entirely for research, and in fact the top floor now houses the Paediatrics research laboratories. “This space was supposed to be a research space for public health, outcomes-based work," Dean Haider said. “But then, we love our patients, and the reason we love them is that when you get better, you truly inspire us," he said, addressing Ayesha. The WCH then turned into an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art place for children to be treated as well.

As the afternoon drew to a close, Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem, the Vice Chair of Paediatrics Clinical Service, acknowledged the many individuals and teams who make the clinics possible. However, as the guests were keen to go explore the new space, he quipped, “I can see hypoglycemia has started," and after he went through the list of names, a massive 8kg cake was shared with the guests.