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Dean’s Communiqué | Edition 16

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Friends, colleagues and the AKU family,

Throughout 2021, we learnt together, evolved together and built resilience together as a team in the face of adversity. As we begin the new year, I thank everyone who has contributed to the School’s growth and progress towards achieving our mutual vision for greater excellence in nursing education, research and practice.

The past few months have been filled with multiple collaborations, activities, and accomplishments. Here are some highlights of all that we did and how we wrapped up the year at AKU-SONAM. Happy reading!

Rozina Karmaliani




Celebrations Galore


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With the past two years spent in isolated virtual classes, it was a treat to see the campus abuzz once again with the graduating BScN class returning to enjoy their last few months together on campus, as they conclude classes and start preparing for graduation.

See more >>

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Thankful to President Shahabuddin, senior leaders of AKU and the staff, faculty and students of SONAM for coming together to celebrate the Chancellor’s 85th birthday. Students getting to interact with senior leadership directly was the highlight of the day, something I greatly cherish and always look forward to!


See More >>



International Recognitions


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SONAM received the Rho Delta Chapter Key at Sigma Nursing’s 100-year celebrations in Indianapolis, USA this year. Glad to have been there to receive it in person!


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Dr Rafat Jan, Associate Dean, Outreach and Policy Unit, represented AKU and the country this year at the ICN Congress where she spoke to Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director WHO, on the issue of nursing shortages in developing countries.


Watch now >>

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The Queen Elizabeth Diamon Jubilee Scholarship comes to an end! Incredibly happy at the outcomes and proud of the faculty members who received research mentorship and professional capacity-building at the University of Calgary.


e-Book For Children


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The Geriatric & Gerontology clinical stream launched a children’s e-book, “Celebrating Grandparents”. It is a free resource, co-authored by stream lead, Laila Cassum, and Dr Shelina Bhamani of the department of Ob/Gyn, AKUH. Through an exciting storyline and fun illustrations, it encourages readers to practice compassion towards the elderly.

Launch ceremony | View e-book

Faculty Trainings



The Office of Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Studies organised faculty trainings as part of the first step towards our strategic goals of transforming nursing and midwifery education. Thankful to speakers Dr Tashmin Khamis of the QTL-Network and Sohail Zindani, SONAM’s strategy planning consultant, for the collaboration and contribution.



Community Health Nursing


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A huge shout-out to the Public Health clinical stream at SONAM for ensuring our students stay actively engaged in community work. From anti-bullying campaigns to basic health and hygiene education, our students and faculty have been working in various schools and communities to impart healthcare education. Kudos to all involved!


Learn more about it here:

Urban Forestation | Anti-Bullying | Health & Hygiene



The stream has also launched a series of interviews of public health nursing experts at AKU, providing an in-depth narrative on its history, challenges, and impact in Pakistan. Do check them out!


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Dr Yasmin Amarsi
Professor Emerita and Former

Watch now >>



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Dr Tazeen Saeed Ali

Professor & Assistant Dean, Research
and Graduate Studies, SONAM


Watch now >>



Mental Health Advocacy



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The mental health day celebrations this year saw many fruitful collaborations across AKU, with leadership faculty, staff and students all coming together in different activities to advocate for improved mental health conditions. Thankful to all organisers and those who took part in them to make them a success!  


Plantation Drive | Campus Walk



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Winning photographs by BScN students Aliya Jamil and Qasim Husain for a photography competition themed “Finding Nature”, by the Counselling Services and Wellness Office, AKU.




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“Loneliness in a foreign land” by Amina Zoomkawala won first prize in an art competition organised by the Mental Health clinical stream at SONAM.


View all artworks >>



Faculty Achievements



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Congratulations to Assistant Professor, Saleema Gulzar, on completion of her PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia. Onwards and upwards from here, Dr Saleema!


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MScN programme lead, Dr Laila Ladak, is promoted to the position of Associate Professor. So proud of seeing her progress at SONAM in such a short span of time!




Alumni News


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In an impromptu and short trip to the USA, I had the pleasure of meeting AKU alumni representatives, members of the Pakistani diaspora including Consul General of Pakistan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Ismaili Council leadership, and many more! Engaging dialogues were held regarding the advancement of healthcare services and education in Pakistan, and the impact of AKU over the years.

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SONAM alumni recently came together as TKN volunteers to teach a course on Leadership to the MScN class of 2021. So thankful to them for always giving back to the School, and continuing the cycle of imparting nursing education through mentorship.





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Congratulations to alumna, Rehana Panjwani on receiving the Nursing Leadership Award 2021 by the International Society of Pediatric Oncology, SIOP.


Congratulations to her on this prestigious international recognition!


Alumnus, Wais Qarani, President, Afghan Midwives and Nurses Council,

recently gave an insightful talk on the challenges being faced by the healthcare community in Afghanistan at a webinar organised by the Outreach Office, SONAM, and for The BMJ Podcast.

Do give these a listen:
Webinar | BMJ Podcast



Research Activities


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SONAM continues its research partnership with Right to Play, Pakistan, for improved adolescent health and well-being, in a newly-launched project “Roshan Rastay”, being conducted in collaboration with the government of Sindh.


Publications (October-December 2021)



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