I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe.
Over the last several months, our world has faced unimaginable challenges with the global pandemic. We have also seen extraordinary acts of professionalism and compassion in the response to the crisis.
My heart swells with pride when I hear stories of our alumni bravely fighting the pandemic on the frontline as well as those in the academia, administration and any other role during these trying times. 2020 is the year of the nurse and midwife and as such, this is your year! I congratulate you all for the incredible work that you continue to do in prioritising the healthcare needs of the communities you are working in.
I was pleased to see many of you joining us in celebrating the International Nurses Day and the International Day of the Midwives in May that saw over 3000 participants from across the world.
SONAM Pakistan has taken numerous initiatives to support, its students, faculty and staff members and healthcare providers across Pakistan. Some initiatives include:
Working with the Government of Pakistan on the 'We Care' initiative where our faculty are appointed as master trainers for 10,000 healthcare providers across Sindh to further train 50,000 health workers across Pakistan on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPEs).
Collaborating with the State Minister of Health of Pakistan to scale up nursing education and develop a national curriculum for Public Health Nursing.
Preparing 30 trainee nurse interns who are now working at the Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan quarantine facility and medical centres in the Gilgit, Baltistan and Chitral region to assist healthcare providers in the management of COVID and non-COVID patients.
Ensuring a smooth online migration of the nursing and midwifery curriculum for our students, minimising accessibility issues especially for those living in the north of Pakistan and other remote areas.
Supporting AKUH's 24/7 employee helpline to increase employees' access to COVID-19 related information.
Leading and participating in online webinars and media programmes for diverse audiences including nurses, midwives, other healthcare providers and the general public to raise awareness about the virus and to support healthcare professionals on their mental and physical well-being.
The School is also proud to be collaborating with the Pakistan Nursing Council, Pakistan Nurses Federation, Higher Education Commissions and Midwifery Association of Pakistan through our Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Leaders' Forum of over 175 members, which is led by SONAM, Pakistan to discuss curriculum delivery issues and any changes in policy-related guidelines.
If you have ideas or expertise to support our work, please email us. Our collective support is vital to the School's ability to adapt and innovate, and has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the campus. And, if your circumstances allow, we invite you to join us in making a gift to AKU's COVID-19 Fund. This fund enables us to provide testing and life-saving care to our patients and address the needs of our physicians and healthcare personnel during this time. In addition, you may also support the School to expand access to nursing education to the deserving students.
You will have heard that we launched an #AKUHeroes campaign. As alumni working in healthcare, we know that you are responding to the global crisis, in some way – locally, nationally or even internationally. And we want to tell your story! If you would like to be featured at one of our #AKUHeroes, send us an email with a dynamic photo of yourself, mentioning your academic programme(s), your year of graduation and a brief story about how you and your work is supporting and benefiting the communities in which you live.
In the meantime, I wish you and your families well.
With best wishes,
Dr Rozina Karmaliani
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan
Aga Khan University