Dean's Communiqué​ | Edition 11




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.

Peaceful thoughts!




How is SONAM helping in the fight against COVID-19?

With the 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 phenomenal.

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

We 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.


Trainee 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 >>

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Training nurses using

I 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.

Through Pakistan Nursing Council and other regulatory bodies, these resources are shared with the nurses deployed in the field isolation centre in Karachi and other facilities.

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


A 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 24/7 helpline
and responding to employees’ queries and concerns.

Employee helpline numbers:
0305 222 1486 | 0300 827 8350


Alumnus advocating for mental healthcare


Our 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

 In the media

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 >>



SONAM joined 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 COVID-19 patients. 

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 >>

 Facebook Live​​

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:

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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.

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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, Australia.

Watch the full webinar here >> | The News | The Nation  | Daily Express | Samaa TV |

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 these talks.

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 >>


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On the International Day of Midwives 2020, SONAM joined the Midwifery press conference led by Arusa Lakhani, our faculty and President of Midwifery Association of Pakistan.

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UNFPA’s tribute 

to midwives
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 >> 



Launch of AKU’s first ever nurse-led lactation clinic
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 breastfeeding.



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.



Hussain Maqbool
Senior 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!





Shahnaz Shahid
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. 



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Our 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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