Dean’s Communiqué | Edition 11
Dear colleagues, alumni, students
and members of the AKU community,
This month's edition
includes special shout-outs to all our alumni, nurses, doctors, midwives,
faculty members and every member of the healthcare fraternity who stepped up
and worked extra long hours and showed incredible commitment in their
respective roles during the current public health crisis. My colleagues join
me in expressing our thanks for all the exemplary work of our frontline
healthcare professionals. The School stands with you and assures full support
and cooperation to our AKU and AKUH family.
Without further ado, I
welcome you all to read through the stories of compassion, care and
celebration and everything that we made happen in the past couple of months.
THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
How is SONAM helping in the fight against COVID-19?
AKU leadership pushing us all in the right direction, and the AKUH
spearheading this battle, the SONAM fraternity too has been on their toes,
making all efforts possible within our domain to contribute towards combating
the virus. The response of our faculty and staff has been nothing short of
I am very proud of all
our faculty and staff members who have stepped up in this time. I would like
to highlight some initiatives here while several other COVID-related
activities may also be found on our website.
Contributing to Pakistan’s ‘We Care’ campaign
are thrilled to have joined hands with the University and Hospital, and the
Ministry of National Health Services to train healthcare workers fighting
against the pandemic across Pakistan. Faculty Mehtab Jaffer is a master
trainer from SONAM and is creating more trainers across the country on the
proper use of PPE while dealing with COVID patients.
Nurse Interns supporting GBC health facilities
In collaboration with NES at AKUH, our graduates,
who are currently working as Trainee Nurse Interns, have travelled to the GBC
region to support the healthcare facilities operating under AKHS,P. They are
working with the healthcare professionals in Booni and Gilgit medical centres
under the supervision of our faculty, to provide care for COVID and non-COVID
patients and are also assisting them to improve clinical practice. I thank
Lubna Ghazal and Amina Lakhani for pushing forward with this initiative and
making it possible!
TNIs on the move >>
Training nurses using
am happy to share that SONAM’s Acute Care clinical stream, led Dr Rubina
Barolia and Zulekha Saleem, has created training videos on ventilator care
and the proper use of PPE for nurses to manage COVID-19 patients and for
their own safety.
Pakistan Nursing Council and other regulatory bodies, these resources are
shared with the nurses deployed in the field isolation centre in Karachi and
Watch Video on Ventilator Care >>
Enabling nurse educators
to teach online
Our faculty members from Palliative
Care clinical stream, Office of Teaching, Learning and Undergraduate
programmes along with our VLE experts have conducted free of cost online
training of nurse educators across Pakistan on various e-learning platforms
and on ways of integrating engaging resources for online teaching.
It makes me really happy to see our people working to make a difference in
the overall nursing education in Pakistan and to help other institutes
navigate the transition.
Faculty volunteering for
24/7 employee helpline
number of SONAM faculty members, under the leadership of Dr Rafat Jan, are
volunteering their time and expertise and helping our colleagues in AKUH to
increase employees’ access to COVID related information.
I am proud of all my faculty members who are volunteering their time for this
and responding to employees’ queries and concerns.
0305 222 1486 | 0300 827 8350
Alumnus advocating for mental healthcare
alumni keep making us all so proud! Umair Bachlani BScN’16, and a Registered
Nurse at the AKUH ICU for COVID-19 patients, joined UN’s drive to address the
mental health dimension of the pandemic and advocated for the availability of
emergency mental healthcare and support at a national level. UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a call with frontline health workers
last month, including Umair, following which they released a policy brief for
action on mental health.
Way to go, Umair!
Read more: United Nations | TIME
SONAM faculty Zohra Kurji, along
with two of our incredible alumni and nursing colleagues at AKUH Rozina
Roshan and Samira Kabani, were on a live show on Samaa TV where they talked
about how our healthcare heroes are working round the clock to care for the
affected patients and how their education prepares them holistically and
makes them ready right from when they graduate.
Watch here @ 50:00 >>
hands with AKUH colleagues and organised some online events. I am
thankful to Rozina Roshan, our alumna and a nurse manager at the Department
of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology and other coleagues at
AKUH, who collaborated with SONAM faculty members before the coronavirus had
hit us hard, and engaged nurses in an important talk around
the pandemic and how to better prepare themselves.
Another online talk
was done in April that focused on healthcare providers’ physical and mental
wellbeing. Led by Dr Rubina Barolia, assistant dean of clinical practice at
SONAM, the panel including Zohra Rafique,
Dr Nargis Asad and other healthcare experts, shared very useful tips and
measures to take to stay physically and mentally fit while dealing with
Watch here >>
Our faculty Lubna Ghazal and Humera Qutb were invited by Dr
Parveen Ali, our alumna at Sheffield University, on Link FM, UK to talk about
the psychological impact of COVID-19.
Watch here >>
I am glad to share
that SONAM faculty and AKUH experts led some very important and relevant
discussions around COVID-19 precautionary measures for public to stay safe.
Quick links for you:
CELEBRATING NURSES & MIDWIVES
International Nurses and Midwives Day 2020
On May 5 and May 12,
International Nurses Day and International Day of the Midwives are celebrated
worldwide. This year, our celebration multiplied manifolds not merely because
2020 is designated as the year of the nurses and the midwives by WHO, but also
because we are honouring our nurses and midwives on the frontline in this
time of crisis.
To mark this day, our
amazing team of faculty and nurses, under the leadership of Dr Tazeen Ali
from SONAM and Amina Lakhani from AKUH, got together and celebrated the many
roles that our nurses are playing in Pakistan and around the world and are
truly being the healthcare heroes that the world needs at the moment. We were
also joined by our star alumna, Dr Salimah Meghani from the University of
Pennsylvania and Shelly Nowlan, a nursing colleague from Queensland Health,
the full webinar here >>
Dawn.com | The News | The Nation | Daily Express | Samaa TV | AKU.edu
In the media
Our faculty and nurses engaged with media on multiple television and radio
channels and highlighted how nurses and midwives, not only during the current
pandemic but round the year, remain prepared and committed to meet the
healthcare needs of patients and communities. I thank our SONAM faculty
members Dr Tazeen Ali, Arusa Lakhani, Saima Sachwani, Laila Cassum, Marina
Baig, Kiran Mubeen, Sadia Karimi, Farzana Adnan and Hussain Maqbool, and our
nursing colleagues at AKUH Salma Jaffar and Amina Lakhani for joining us in
PTV HOME | Ramzan Pakistan | Dr Rozina Karmaliani and Laila
Cassum @ 30:00 >>
Samaa TV | Naya Din | Salma Jaffer @ 46:00 >>
ARY News | Sham-e-Ramzan | Marina Baig @ 16:40 >>
International Day of Midwives 2020, SONAM joined the Midwifery press
conference led by Arusa Lakhani, our faculty and President of Midwifery
Association of Pakistan.
Our faculty Dr Rafat Jan was invited to join global experts on midwifery and
maternal health for a very special Facebook Live by UNFPA Asia and the
Pacific, where they honoured midwives and their work in safeguarding pregnant
women and ensuring safer childbirth.
Watch here >>
FIRST IN PAKISTAN
Launch of AKU’s first ever nurse-led lactation
Our faculty Zohra Kurji becomes the first nurse in
Pakistan to independently run a consulting clinic for lactating mothers at
the University Hospital. She is also one of the very few International Board
Certified Lactation consultants in the country.
This is among the many other
initiatives in the past few months that make me so proud of my colleagues at
SONAM. It would help us extend professional, personalised breastfeeding
support and counselling services to mothers to initiate and sustain
Read more >>
SONAM’s first batch gives back to the School
Courage and compassion
on the frontlines
Dr Salma Rattani
Assistant Professor Salma Rattani, MScN '06, has
successfully defended her PhD thesis at the University of Alberta. It feels
great to have yet another PhD scholar from our nursing alumni and at the School.
Instructor and SONAM alumnus Hussain Maqbool,
BScN '10 successfully completed one-year post-graduate certificate
programme Global Clinical Scholars Research Training from Harvard
Medical School. Way to go, Hussain!
Senior Instructor Shahnaz Shahid, MScN '12,
recently received the British Midwifery Journal award 2020. She has also been
selected for Sigma International’s Global Leadership Mentoring Community.
admissions campaign is in full swing. You will find many stories on our
website and the University’s different social media channels on how our
alumni and current students are making an impact in the field. Our team has
also put together an amazing video that shows a glimpse of a nursing
student’s journey at AKU. Watch here >>
This year, admissions to all four programmes are open at SONAM i.e. BScN,
Post-RN BScN, MScN as well as the Post-RM BScM programme that opens every
alternate year for the nurse-midwives.
Down the memory lane
A memorable photo of School of Nursing
students at the SON girls’ hostel - taken 35 years ago.
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