AND MIDWIFERY                                                                                       December 2019 




Dean’s Communiqué | Edition 09

 Photograph © Awais Rehman

Dear faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends of SONAM!

Another wonderful year has almost come to an end. I am extremely proud of my colleagues here at SONAM for being the excellent mentors and graduating a very competent group of future nurses.


You are aware that I am now relocating back to Australia however, I will be continuing my work part-time with AKU based in Australia. As I handover the deanship to my colleague Dr Rozina Karmaliani, I would like to congratulate her and wish her the best. I am certain that the School will continue to grow by leaps and bounds under her able leadership.


In this edition, I would like to update you all on our progress in the past couple of months and the remarkable achievements of our AKU family.


Kind regards,


















Successful meetings with PNC officials


This month, SONAM leadership along with the Vice Provost Anjum Halai and our colleagues from the Office of the Registrar met with the officials of the Pakistan Nursing Council, PNC, and had a fruitful discussion on the School’s academic programmes with the Council’s recently appointed President Afshan Nazly.  


Inspectors from PNC also visited the School to look at the infrastructure, review the curriculum and assess students’ satisfaction. The officials were delighted to see the classrooms and various other facilities in the School as well as in the Hospital. We had also put forth our requests about increasing enrolment at the graduate level and introducing specialty courses, and we were assured that these would be strongly recommended to the PNC committee for necessary approvals.










e-Learning Resource for Midwives


In a first, and as part of continuing professional education for midwives, our faculty Arusa Lakhani and Marina Baig have co-authored an e-book for practising midwives and midwifery students in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team from the McMaster University and the Grand Challenges Canada, a funding agency by the government of Canada.


“Woman-Centered Reproductive Health Care” is an e-learning resource for midwives and lady health visitors in Pakistan that aims to contribute to the knowledge base and help build competencies in reproductive healthcare using evidence-based content in local context. Download the book >>



Raising Awareness

on Dementia and Elderly Care


Our geriatrics and gerontology clinical stream head, Samina Vertejee, collaborated with WHO in an attempt to dispel the misconceptions around dementia and the stereotypes about ageing. They have prepared a brochure elaborating on the early signs and symptoms of dementia and other related information about ageing. I am glad that this material is available in both the languages, English and Urdu, for better awareness about the care of older people with dementia. Read the brochure here >>


Samina, along with our medical college colleague, Dr Saniya Sabzwari, also talked to Dawn on the subject and how the stereotypes about ageing are hindering the efforts to improve older people’s quality of life. Watch the episode here >>









Innovating for Better Healthcare Outcomes

I am impressed seeing how our students are beaming with some amazing entrepreneurial ideas and their mentors at AKU are helping materialise them. A group of five students have got together to devise solution to overcome the language barrier doctors and patients face. Find out how they are trying to bridge doctor-patient communication gaps.











Sydney | Melbourne | Lahore

Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting with some amazing groups of alumni in Pakistan and Australia/New Zealand with whom I have discussed several new ideas to collaborate on with the School. As I move to Australia, I plan to connect with them to take those ideas forward.


It was an absolute pleasure to meet and celebrate their accomplishments together with them, a lot of whom have become stars in their fields. I was also deeply touched to see the willingness our alumni had to offer support and expertise to the School enabling us to enhance our programmes and other academic and clinical initiatives.    










Shireen Shehzad
at the Sexual Violence Research Initiative forum, South Africa

 Last month, Shireen had a chance to participate in the SVRI forum. She was the only Pakistani among 50 awardees around the world who had received full bursary. As she connected with impressive researchers, funders, policymakers and academicians, she also did an elevator speech on the Right To Play study as well as facilitated a Speed Networking event.

Way to go, Shireen!









 Certificate Course 

In Geriatrics


Our team has collaborated with the University of California, San Francisco and is conducting a 6-week certificate course on strengthening capacity in managing old patients in hospital and community settings.





Data Management & Analysis Workshop


Another hands-on workshop was held this month for students, researchers and healthcare practitioners in which participants were trained on SPSS to conduct a variety of tests, perform data management and handling.






Reviving the role of 

palliative nurses


Our palliative care experts will also be conducting a workshop in the upcoming week for palliative care nurses on how to effectively care for patients facing life-threatening illnesses and help improve

the quality of life of patients and

their families.






National Health Sciences Research Symposium

Pre-Symposium Workshop


As part of the Symposium, SONAM, in collaboration with the Outreach & Research Lab, Department of Paediatrics, conducted a pre-symposium workshop on “reducing multi drug resistance (MDR) infections”, which was attended by a large number of healthcare professionals and students from within and outside of AKUH.







 Manuscript Writing Workshop

For beginners


Our research experts will also be conducting a hands-on workshop in December focusing on enhancing the participants’ understanding of converting a research into a manuscript, which will come in handy for beginner researchers.









 Farida Shah | Improving midwifery education and practice in Pakistan








Khairulnissa Ajani | Raising Nursing education standards in Pakistan





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