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Dean’s Communiqué | Edition 15

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Friends, colleagues and the AKU family,

With a very eventful past few months, at SONAM we have continued to engage in new learning, research and collaborations. These include our outreach programmes in the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral regions in partnership with the Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan; our joint strategic planning process with SONAM East Africa,
that now enters its implementation phase; and various interprofessional courses, webinars and research initiatives.

Our faculty, students and alumni on the other hand, continue to make us proud at national and international platforms as together we uphold the beacon of nursing and continue advancing the School’s vision!

Here’s a glimpse of all we have been up to in the past few months.

Happy reading!

Rozina Karmaliani



Welcome and Goodbye



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We welcomed President Sulaiman and Dr Zeenat Sulaiman on his first day at AKU – a day filled with new energy, joy and optimism as the dynamic duo interacted with students, staff and faculty at SONAM.

Picture gallery


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We celebrated over 15 years of growth under the able leadership of former President Firoz Rasul and Dr Saida Rasul and planted a tree in memory of their commitment and service to SONAM as they bid goodbye to AKU.


Picture gallery | Video highlights




SONAM Directional Plan 2021-2026


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In another first, SONAM Pakistan and East Africa joined hands to develop a combined five-year strategic plan to achieve improved outcomes for nursing and midwifery globally, with one common direction for both Schools.

Watch highlights >>



Partnering With the Government


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AKU leaders had a meeting with the President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Saddar in Islamabad. The event recognised AKU’s impact in Pakistan and the need to advance public-private partnerships to improve healthcare outcomes in the country.


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Another step forward in public-private partnerships: Mir Waqar Ahmed, Secretary Health, Gilgit-Baltistan, visited the School to talk about potential collaborations to advance nursing education in the GB and Chitral region.


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SONAM is collaborating with AKHSP to train nurses, midwives and lady health visitors across Pakistan, to strengthen the healthcare capacity to fight the pandemic under a European Union Humanitarian grant.




Research Activities



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As part of the Foundations for Health and Empowerment initiative, SONAM has initiated field research in GB and Chitral, to assess mental health in adolescents, and the challenges faced in maternal and newborn care in the region. This intervention is part of a larger grant to the Aga Khan Foundation, funded by Global Affairs Canada.


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Dr Peggy Chinn recently gave a talk on the recognition and prevention of predatory journals and effective strategies for publication.


Watch full webinar >>



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Dr Cecily L. Betz joined us for an online session on best practices for getting our thesis/manuscripts published in esteemed journals. 


Watch full webinar >>











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Active Grants




  • Foundations for health empowerment (Krygystan, Pakistan, Tajikistan) | AKF, Canada, Global Affairs Canada
  • Continuing education in relevant SRHR topics for midwives and lady health visitors in GBC | AKHSP, UNFPA
  • Mental health impact of COVID-19 on essential workers in Pakistan | Canadian Institutes for Health Research
  • Health systems analysis, women’s reproductive health and barriers to availability, utilization and readiness of sexual and reproductive health services in COVID-19 affected areas | WHO



  • Parveen Chagani | Assessing the caregiving burden of the family members of patients receiving palliative care
  • Dr Tazeen Saeed Ali | Fall prevention programme in Karachi, Pakistan for community dwelling older people: acceptance and effectiveness in local context



International Day of Older Persons


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On occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, SONAM hosted a webinar with a diverse and inter-professional group of speakers under the theme of “Digital equity for all”. A lot was learnt and productive dialogues held to advance the wellbeing of the older population in the country and encourage digital empowerment.




Healthcare Simulation Week 2021



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Happy to announce that the School has launched South Asia’s first Regional Interest Group for healthcare simulation – in affiliation with the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning, INACSL. Looking forward to fruitful outcomes!


 Watch full webinar >>



Faculty Achievements



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Assistant Professor Yasmin Parpio receives the Johns Hopkins’ Afghanistan-Pakistan Collaborative Trauma & Injury Research Scholarship for the PhD thesis at AKU.



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Assistant Professor Dr Laila Ladak is appointed as an editor for the nursing and midwifery section of the international PLOS Global Public Health journal. 


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Queen Elizabeth Scholars, Shireen Shehzad, Marina Baig, Shahnaz Shahid and Sadia Abbas (not pictured) at the University of Calgary for research on maternal and perinatal mental health. So happy for them and looking forward to the outcome!



Alumni Achievements


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Alumni Drs Zohra Lassi and Rehana Salam
receive Sigma Nursing’s 2021 Episteme Award for research
in maternal and newborn malnutrition.








Professor Dr Parveen Ali gets appointed by the International Council of Nurses as editor-in-chief of one of the world’s most esteemed nursing journals, the International Nursing Review!


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Professor Dr Salimah Meghani, in an interview with our team, talks about the impact of AKU on her journey from a registered nurse in Karachi to an internationally acclaimed nurse educator and researcher, and how she sees the future of nursing in Pakistan.

Read here >>



Upcoming Event


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