Dean's Communiqué​ | Edition 13


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Dean’s Communiqué | Edition 13

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Dear colleagues, students, alumni and members of the AKU community,

I would like to begin this message by extending my sincere appreciation to the nursing staff and those who have been volunteering at the COVID-19 vaccination site to facilitate and ensure a safe and efficient vaccination drive. Despite all the challenges we have faced during the last year, 2021 is giving us hopes after all.

In another positive news, over 40 nursing schools in Pakistan have transitioned from apprenticeship to higher education model. This is a huge step forward by the government to improve the standing of the profession.  

Last couple of months also brought about quite a few public-private partnerships and collaborative initiatives. However, within AKU, the most important collaboration currently happening is between SONAM Pakistan and East Africa. For the first time, all four countries are working closely to create one collective vision for the Schools.

This edition brings to you all the latest developments happened at SONAM. I welcome you to read through the stories and share your feedback with us.

Peaceful thoughts!






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SONAM begins free-of-cost capacity building drive for over 10,000 frontline nurses, nurse educators, midwives and lady health visitors across Pakistan. The programme is funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation.

Read more >> 

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Another capacity building training programme was recently launched with Director General Nursing Sindh Ms Khair-un-nisa Khan. Around 80 nurse instructors, practicing nurses and critical care technicians working with COVID-19 patients in over 10 public sector hospitals have been trained and more trainings are underway. I congratulate Dr Rubina Barolia for taking this initiative forward.


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I was also part of an MoU signing ceremony on behalf of AKU with the Health and Population Welfare Department, Sindh, to ensure availability of reproductive health and family planning services in Qambar and Matiari districts, especially for women and adolescents. Thanks to Zahid Memon, Dr Sajid Soofi, Dr Tazeen Ali and all individuals involved in taking this project forward.

Learn more >>






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SONAM had a two-day impactful workshop on “What Matters Now” as part of our
ONE-SONAM Strategic Planning. Facilitated by Sohail Zindani, a business management and organisational development consultant, there were multiple insightful mini-sessions where we deliberated on innovative strategies and ideas that helped our faculty and staff reflect on our processes and goals.

Both the entities in Pakistan and East Africa are geared up in this process of developing one vision for the School!

More details on SONAM Strategic Planning >>


National Health Sciences Research Symposium


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This year, our flagship event was yet another power-packed mix of talks, interactive sessions, scientific posters and workshops. It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of this virtual symposium joined by national and international speakers and to be able to discuss interventions to prepare better.

Congratulations to Dr Asad Ali, Dr Rafat Jan, Dr Faisal Mahmood and all the organising committee members for a very successful event! 




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It was a pleasure to virtually connect with the newly inducted batch of 2021 for all programmes across the University. We hope to soon welcome them in person as well and have their smiles and vigour brighten up our campus.

honours and recognitions

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Last month, AKDN published a piece on the 2020 list of 100 Outstanding Women Nurses and Midwives. Eleven of them are AKDN’s staff and alumni, out of which, eight are faculty or alumni of SONAM, Pakistan. It is a huge honour for us, and I once again congratulate all the nurses on the list as well as the nursing fraternity on the whole providing exemplary care to the communities they serve.



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Kudos to the 33 nurses, midwives and lady health visitors from across AKDN on successfully completing the First Nursing Education Course on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease led by AKU Faculty Dr Nuruddin Mohammed and his team.

See More >>

FACULTY and staff updates

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I am extremely proud of SONAM students and faculty members who are volunteering to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and are closely working with AKUH
at the vaccine site

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Heartiest congratulations to SONAM faculty Khairulnissa Ajani and Shanaz Cassum, and all faculty members who are part of the inaugural members of the Teachers’ Academy. This is a unique opportunity as it is one of the first interdisciplinary academies of its kind at AKU.



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Yet another feather in our cap! Faculty members Khairulnissa Ajani and Kiran Mubeen recently received Senior Fellowship and Fellowship respectively by the Advance Higher Education Academy in recognition of their commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning.

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A picture containing person, smiling, posingDescription automatically generated What an incredible initiative to encourage female doctors to pursue PGME in Afghanistan! Applicants from Kabul and other far-flung areas are being trained by our nurse educators and other experts. I congratulate SONAM faculty Yasmin Parpio, Shagufta Iqbal, Shehla Khan, Dr Naghma Rizvi, Sehrish Sajjad, and the FMIC team for leading this initiative.

Learn more >>


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“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it!”

We had a “Thank You townhall” for our incredible team at SONAM without whom we wouldn’t have been able to pull through the challenges faced in 2020. I am proud and grateful to be leading such exceptional individuals!


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Our faculty Sharifa Lalani and Kiran Shaikh who are also Queen Elizabeth Scholars, worked with researchers and nursing experts from the University of Calgary, York University and Dr Almina Pardhan of AKU-IED to address the cognitive and
social-emotional development needs of children.

Read more on their work >>


The latest edition of the Journal of Asian Midwives that includes an editorial and an article by SONAM faculty members have been added on eCommons. You may access them from the below links:

Other Publications



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After 36 years of service, Abdul Aziz, assistant manager at the dean’s office,
bid farewell to the School. We were overwhelmed with the responses received on his farewell from the entire AKU family!

View here >>


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Wellness Survey

SONAM and the Department of Psychiatry have partnered for a mental wellness initiative designed especially for our employees in Pakistan and East Africa.

Participate in the survey >>

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