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Aga Khan University Newsletter and Magazine for Alumni

Winter 2010, Vol. 3, Issue 2

Adeel A. Butt

Editorial Staff
Shain Amershi, Executive Assistant

Associate Editors
Faiz Bhora, Medical College
North American Chapter

Rahila Zakir, Medical College

European Chapter

Tazeen Jafar, Medical College

AKU Reunion in Dallas: (left-right) Louis Ariano, Carol Ariano and Farhat Abbas. Pakistan Chapter
Abdul Haq Wahedna

Erum Kabani, School of Nursing
Fahmida Mehdi, School of Nursing
From the Editor’s Desk 3

Nadim Farooqui, Institute for Educational Development

Volunteers Make a Difference 4

Nilufar Shariff, Advanced Nursing Studies

Fundraiser in Oxford 5
East Africa
The Red Saint of Sindh 6
Balkis Rouached, Institute for the Study of Muslim
Step by Step to Publishing 8

Marie Andrades, Postgraduate Medical Education

Towards Excellence 8

Research Grants: A Nightmare for Junior Researchers 9 Ex-Officio Members

Firoz Rasul, President
Boys to Men: Reunion at 11,000 Feet 10
Farhat Abbas, Dean
Medical College, Pakistan
Five Seasons in the Sun 12

A Journey Just Begun 13 Rozina Karmaliani, Interim Dean

School of Nursing, Pakistan
My Way 13
Muhammad Memon, Director
Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan
When Care Matters - Interview with Dr Hasan B. Alam 14

Yasmin Amarsi, Foundation Dean

The New Face of Nursing - Interview with Salimah Meghani 16 School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa
Vigil at AKU 17
Cover photo: Khairpur / Zaigham Islam

Anjum Halai, Interim Director

Institute for Educational Development, East Africa
Medical College in Dallas 18

Mushtaq Ahmed, Associate Dean

Nurses Reunite! 19 Medical Education, East Africa
Campus Happenings 20
Farouk Topan, Interim Director
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, UK
Class Notes 21

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are of the individual authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the editorial
2 board or Aga Khan University.

Stepping Up to the Challenge

Adeel A. Butt


In 2010, Pakistan experienced floods that inundated to address the enormous task at hand. There is a need for
nearly a fifth of the country. By some estimates, over 20 a professionally staffed disaster relief agency which can
million people have been affected. The Aga Khan become the central management hub in any national
University and its alumni have played their part in help- emergency. The agency should be run on the principles
ing those affected. They have provided primary medical of independence, transparency and accountability.
care at relief camps, staffed wards in hospitals and taken Even though many have stepped up to meet the chal-
over unused government facilities, donating time, pro- lenge, we need even more. From community associa-
fessional expertise and money to help their compatriots. tions, civil society organisations, local governments all
However, millions still remain without shelter or food, the way through to national and provincial institutions,
and at great risk from water-borne diseases. With the we need leaders – not one but many.
winter now here, the need for assistance is even greater. P.S. We urge all readers to help our less fortunate
While numerous government, non-governmental and fellow citizens, through their time, expertise or dona-
international agencies have set up efforts to help the tions. Remember, even a smile for an affected person is
affected, there is a sense of lack of effective leadership a charity that has its own rewards.


Volunteers Make a Difference

Syed Nabeel Zafar, MBBS 08, MPH 10

The devastating floods that began in

Pakistan in July displaced millions, affected
78 out of 144 districts in Pakistan, led to a
state of emergency and once again, focused
the world’s spotlight on this country – but
for entirely different reasons. This unprece-
dented natural disaster has allowed the peo-
ple of Pakistan to demonstrate their com-
passion and generosity. Many individuals
and organisations across the country have
committed time, energy and resources to
the flood relief efforts. Groups have banded
together to collect funds to buy food and
clothing and rush supplies to people.
Institutions have ‘sponsored’ camps or vil-
lages, and devoted staff and time to the
effort. Even as the already dilapidated infra-
structure in our rural areas – roads, bridges,
health centres and schools – crumbled
under the flood waters, people continued to
find a way to reach out to those displaced
by the flood.
We left in a rush for Khairpur and
Sukkur, the five of us, a senior paediatri-
cian, a local gynaecologist, two final-year
medical students and a public health spe-
cialist (myself). It was the end of August
and flood waters had inundated towns and
villages in upper Sindh. Our plan was to
visit camps set up for the flood displaced
people – five days and 15 camps later we
had attended to over 500 patients, providing
basic care and medications. We had also
trained around 100 lady health workers
(LHWs) in basic health and hygiene mes-
sages, emphasising how vital they are to the
flood relief efforts and boosting their own
sense of importance.
We witnessed first-hand, and for the
first time, a large-scale disaster. There was Newborn twins being treated in a school camp in Mattiari, Sindh.
so much chaos that it was difficult to grasp Anita Zaidi
the situation. People cramped together in
school buildings, tents or along roadsides with nothing of things could have been much worse. Many suffered from
their own. The local government was completely over- poor health and the floods had further aggravated the
whelmed and was struggling to provide food, water, shel- problem. The most common illnesses were diarrhoea, skin
ter and clothes to this massive influx of refugees. problems and respiratory infections. The most severely
During our short visit there we saw many relief affected were women, children and the elderly. Nearly
efforts that could have been better. But we also saw that every child was malnourished and every woman anaemic.


Every third female of childbearing age was

pregnant. Hospitals were overburdened and did
not have adequate staff, beds or space. Despite
Fundraiser in Oxford
the large number of people needing help, we Mohammad Ali Rai, MBBS 08
continued our efforts, treated acute cases and
sent daily reports back to AKU so that more
people could be motivated to volunteer and be
directed to where they were needed the most. In the wake of the catastrophic floods in Pakistan, it seemed apt
The poor sanitary conditions and the sheer to organise a fundraiser for those affected. All I really needed
lack of basic personal hygiene that we saw was a push and it came when a Canadian colleague inquired as
was alarming. Since they knew no better, peo- to what I had done to help the flood relief efforts back home.
ple had no qualms about eating where they had The very next morning, I circulated the idea of a fund-rais-
defecated. Newborn children lay on the mud, ing iftaar amongst my friends here at Oxford. Everyone was
smothered in flies. There was garbage and filth extremely supportive, but we were slightly scared about the
everywhere with people and animals sharing turnout. It was non-term time at Oxford, students were on break
the same living quarters. and we were hesitant about the success of such an effort.
In such difficult conditions, it is vital for With a vague idea in our heads, we took to the streets to
people to have the knowledge of basic hygiene find out which restaurant would suit our budget. We found a
and sanitation practices that can help prevent quaint outlet in the colourful Cowley area of Oxford, whose
infections and disease. The perfect ‘force’ for owners happily agreed to work within our budget. Step one of
this training challenge are the LHWs and there the plan had been accomplished.
are about 1,500 LHWs operating in the Sukkur Step two was to spread the word, and fast. Facebook was of
and Khairpur area. Since most of them are good use as we generated an event page – liaising with as many
familiar with the local language and culture, societies and individuals we could find who were still active in
they integrate well with local communities. We Oxford and not hibernating for the summer.
trained and motivated as many LHWs as we The big day finally arrived. Not surprisingly, it was raining.
could on how to deliver health messages in the It was a not-so-perfect start and I feared the rain would turn
hope that it would benefit the internally dis- people away.
placed persons (IDPs) in the long run. But the turnout was a complete surprise. We had anticipated
Other organisations were also involved in about 40 people; the restaurant had capacity for 100. Over a 110
sanitation efforts. We witnessed pit latrines people turned up! And the best part was there was food and
for human waste disposal being erected, hand plenty of it for everyone! There were people from every profes-
pumps for clean drinking water being sion and several nations supporting the event, from Canada to
installed and soaps being distributed with as far away as Malaysia. Even my fellow ‘Rhodies’ – Rhodes
rations. However, the best camp, being run by scholars – turned up and I am greatly indebted to them for con-
a local NGO, had empowered the IDPs to tributing to our fund-raising efforts.
cater for themselves. At the camp, the flood We had organised a number of presentations to highlight the
affectees were cooking, cleaning, stitching severity of the floods in Pakistan. Numerous reasons have been
clothes and guarding the gate of the camp on cited to explain the slow international response to the crisis in
their own, which made them much better off the country, from donor fatigue in the wake of the Haiti quake
than the rest. to the poor global image of Pakistan. But the fact that stood out
The recovery phase of the floods, rehabili- blatantly that day was that very few people actually understood
tating people, the infrastructure and the social the gravity of the situation.
services system is difficult and complex. But it After the presentations and dinner, we passed our donation
is a challenge that can be overcome with the boxes around. The response in one word: mind-blowing!
joint efforts of local governments, NGOs, Through our efforts, we managed to raise close to 3,000 pounds.
international agencies and volunteers. We channelled this money to the Disasters Emergency
We know that volunteers from all over Committee, which is an umbrella group of 13 UK charities,
Pakistan are doing what they can to make a from Islamic Aid to Oxfam.
lasting impact. The silver lining here is that the But what we all need to understand now is that post-disas-
flood has brought these neglected people with- ter, reconstruction efforts are going to be a long and tedious
in the reach of interventions. Now it is impor- challenge. Fundraisers like ours are merely the starting point of
tant that we learn from this disaster and focus a sustained support programme for our affected fellow citizens
our efforts, in the post-flood phase, on the cru- in Pakistan. We should not need a push to remind us of our
cial issue of community education. responsibility towards our very own nation.


The Red Saint of Sindh

Omar Kasmani, MA 09

Architect, photographer and anthropologist, Omar Kasmani (AKU-ISMC, Class of 2009) is currently a PhD
candidate in Social Anthropology at the Freie Universität, Berlin, Graduate School Muslim Cultures and
Societies. His research interests include gender, devotion and post-colonial subjectivities.

Appearing much softer at dusk, the golden dome of the the drum, alternatively lifting one foot and springing on
shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar rises above the dusty the other, women sway their heads in a circular motion,
town of Sehwan, 180 miles north of Karachi. Tiny their hair left uncovered and untied.
makeshift shrines and altars dot the processional walk Inside, where the saint lies buried, people continue
to the main entrance of the shrine, marked by a very to make offerings, in groups and in solitude. Women
tall alam, a structure erected in the memory of the sing of the saint’s intercessory attributes; the ambience
Battle of Karbala (680 AD). is made warmer by the soft rendition of ‘O lal meri pat
Walking past the courtyard, now barefoot, I let a rakhiya bala jhoole lal’ (lit: O Lal keep my boat
red thread be tied to my wrist, signifying the colour of afloat). Occasionally, parties of male vocalists, whilst
the saint. The courtyard is neatly cordoned off into standing by the grave, sing or recite poems of praise
male and female zones where seemingly disciplined and sometimes of grief for the family of the Prophet.
men and women await what appears to be a daily ritual. This is often accompanied by beating of the chest by
Minutes later, right after the sunset prayer, large drums Shi’a pilgrims providing a regular beat to the recitation.
are struck, turning people in the courtyard less disci- Upon entering, many would prostrate at the thresh-
plined, the gender-divide less stark. Some observe and old or later at the pedestal of the shrine, a few would
many participate in a kind of vigorous dance called crack open a coconut. There are men and women who
dhamal in local parlance. As men dance to the beats of quietly read the Quran, and those who pray silently


with hands folded, clasped together sion is confirmed as many pray fac- The images are part of a larger
or stretched out. There are some ing the camera and not in the direc- body of work “The red between
who circumambulate with chants tion of the shrine as dictated by cus- black and white”, curated for an
louder than others and some whose tom. My use of camera, in this exhibition at the L’École des
singing voices fill the large durbar sense, becomes unexceptional and Hautes Études en Sciences
(courtyard) space. Many make in some ways not intrusive. Sociales in Paris in September

offerings to the saint: chadars, rose 2010. This ethnographic account
petals, sweets and money. Some are is part of the researcher’s MA
seen touching the grave; others bow project conducted at AKU-ISMC.
further to deliver a kiss.
An increasingly frequent sight ‘O lal meri pat rakhiya
is that of men and women using bala jhoole lal’ (lit: O
their cellular phones to take pictures
Lal keep my boat afloat)

or to make videos of the shrine. The
democratisation of the camera, I
believe, subjects the shrine visitor
to posing in front of it. The impres-

Step by Step to Towards Excellence

Noor Hussain and Shairoz Ismail, MEd 07 Sindhu Nawaz, RN Diploma 07

It was our research study for the MEd degree that plant- This is a story of Aga Khan Hospital for Women and
ed the seed. Children, Kharadar and its integration with the
It was a rigorous process that began with formulat- University Hospital.
ing a research plan, writing a research proposal and The Janbai Maternity Home, as it was originally
finally submitting a dissertation; a process of un-learn- called, was established on April 15, 1924 with the
ing and re-learning that made us realise the importance support of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III
of reflecting on how the theoretical knowledge of and the philanthropist, Weir Bundeh Ali Kassim. It
research in novice researchers is transformed into their now functions as a full-fledged secondary hospital
research skills. with 48 beds, a labour room, an operation theatre,
As fledgling researchers, we were anxious about nursery and outpatient clinics. It also has been offer-
receiving clear directions and effective supervision. ing midwifery training since 1967, with 1,210 gradu-
Fortunately, Dr Nilofar Vazir, Associate Professor, ates to date.
AKU-IED agreed to supervise us. Although our studies On July 1, 2009 the nursing services were merged
had many contextual and methodological differences, with the Aga Khan University Hospital. Initially, the
her extraordinary expertise as a dissertation supervisor merger was not easily accepted – change is not always
made our thesis research work and writing, a significant welcome! To help the process, the Aga Khan
learning experience and a milestone in our teaching University Hospital nursing team arranged an intro-
career. This exceptional learning opportunity eventually ductory learn and lunch session, where apprehensions
convinced the two of us to reflect on our overall experi- and queries could be answered.
ence as research supervisees and on the entire process Several steps followed: a training need analysis
we had been through. We decided to write a reflective where skills and theory were assessed, special classes
paper that could provide some useful underpinnings for arranged for those who needed assistance, and follow-
both neophyte researchers and research supervisors. up to help people improve their grades based on their
Despite living and working in different contexts, we knowledge, attitude and practice.
remained enthusiastic about our aim. We corresponded Like they say, no one can go back and make a
over email, exchanging feedback till we were satisfied brand new start, but anyone can start today and forge
that our learning could add to research literature. The a brand new ending – and this is precisely what hap-
result was ‘Learning, re-learning and un-learning: our pened here. Initially while wearing their brand new
journey across the dissertation process: reflections of AKUH uniforms, staff felt insecure. Their Janbai
two student teachers’ published in the international jour- identity had gone away, an identity very close to their
nal, Reflective Practice. hearts; shifts had been stretched to nine hours, and
This paper is significant to us in two ways. First, it adjustments had to be made with families. They were
provides a comprehensive view of the entire process of worried about the firm rules towards policies and
research work under a research supervisor, which we accountability for their own actions. They were wor-
narrated by sharing sufficient evidence of the profes- ried that the homely environment of sharing and car-
sional interaction among supervisors and supervisees. In ing would disappear, they would have to stretch them-
addition, it emphasises the pivotal role a research super- selves and learn new technology, rationalise their
visor plays in ensuring the quality and authenticity of nursing care, and above all be vocal, confident,
the study. Secondly, by being published at an interna- assertive and independently responsible for their
tional forum, it has revealed our competency as authors. patient’s right.
This has motivated us to continue to write and share our If the key to success is the ability to adapt, then
learning experiences with colleagues. yes, our team has become accustomed to the new uni-
What we have realised is that it is necessary to form, duty hours, policies, procedures and documen-
carefully proofread the final version, fulfill copyright tation. Now we all can rationalise our nursing inter-
formalities and address acknowledgements. This has ventions, develop nursing care plans and proudly say
indeed been a successful step in our journey as learners. that we provide quality care!


Gary Otte

Research Grants:
A Nightmare for Junior Researchers
Kashmira Nanji, BScN 04, MSc 09

You are entering a dimly lit room. such as the National Institutes of tively propose an idea to granting
On one side you can see huge stacks Health. Local funds are also declin- agencies. First impressions matter a
of papers and on the other, a group ing, as the Higher Education great deal: a concise and convincing
of people working away. Moving Commission and Pakistan Medical proposal is essential for getting
closer, you realise that those piles and Research Council have suffered one’s research funded. Reviewers
are actually grant applications and major cuts in their budgets. usually spend a short amount of
the people, reviewers. Suddenly, one However, let us have confidence in time reading each application and if
turns to look you in the face; you the skills we have gained at AKU. they do not like your idea after
realise that he is holding your grant During my MSc programme, we reading the first page, they are not
application. He smiles and stamps were told that there are two steps for likely to approve your grant applica-
the paper and hands it over. Your success in the field of research. tion. Also proposals that do not
application has been rejected. You First, formulating an original and match an agency’s objectives are
hear a faint, familiar sound in the innovative idea for research and sec- less likely to succeed.
background – an alarm clock ring- ond, convincing reputable funding Working as a junior researcher is
ing, waking you from this night- agencies to support it. definitely not a 9 to 5 job – it is an
mare. Thank god! It is just a dream. Well-thought out research ideas ongoing struggle. You know that
This is the nightmare that haunts do not appear out of the blue. when you are not working, you are
every junior researcher. Granting Successful researchers read numer- potentially falling behind your com-
agency policies have made it ous papers in related fields to devel- petitors (read strong track record
increasingly difficult for young op their own ideas. They also note researchers). However, there is no
researchers to obtain funds, which the funders, the agencies interested doubt in my mind that with continual
has the potential to drive an entire in specific areas or projects. Their effort we can successfully compete
generation away from careers in next step is to obtain feedback from for grants from renowned funding
basic biomedical research. colleagues and mentors on both the agencies and excel in our careers.
To make matters worse, interna- research idea and the prospective
tionally, research funding has fallen funding agencies. Kashmira Nanji is working in the
and there is very tough competition Success in research is also Department of Family Medicine, AKU
for grants from well-known agencies dependent on the ability to effec- as a Senior Instructor (Research).


Boys to Men:
Reunion at 11,000 Feet
Haider Warraich

Around this time last year, as the

class of 2009 transitioned from being
students to alumni, my group of
friends decided to make one last chal-
lenging trip together to the northern
areas of Pakistan, as we had done
throughout our years at AKU. Having
already hiked across Naran, Kaghan,
Nathia Gali, Beeran Gali, Fairy
Meadows and up to Nanga Parbat,
this time we decided to visit the
Hunza Valley and trek up to the base
camp of Rakaposhi.
We started our journey in a rented
bus, driving all the way from
Islamabad along the Karakoram
Highway (KKH) to Gilgit and
beyond. The ride was fun, partly
because of the ruckus that a dozen or
so boys released from five years of The Brave (left to right): Haider Warraich, Usman Salahuddin, Faisal Khan, Asif
virtual incarceration can create and Iqbal, Arslan Shaukat, Atif Bashir, Raafay Sophie, Junaid Haroon, Rehan Zahid and
also because the drive along the KKH Ahsan Raza. Haider Warraich
itself is an extraordinary experience
with its deep valleys and high moun- way across the river, through woods ‘Likes’ for our pictures on Facebook
tains – it is as if everything is drawn and pastures dotted with grazing ani- and the envy of all those who could
to an almost separate scale than the mals, avoiding poisonous (but very not make it. But our journey to the
one we are used to. alluring) berries, to finally reach mountains was a pilgrimage of sorts,
By the time we camped at one of Tagafari base camp, where the mighty where the mountain gods taught us,
the many spots that provided a mag- Minapin glacier meets Rakaposhi. amongst other things, humility, and a
nificent viewpoint of Rakaposhi, we Enraptured by this magnificent set- sense of the natural beauty that exists
had been on the road for two days ting, we could better reflect on the within our very own country. It is
straight. But the view that greeted us human condition and a world that indeed a shame that only a few can
in the morning more than overcame seems doomed to Sisyphean labour! make this journey and experience a
any lingering doubts we may have On the face of it, all we gained transcendence that no esoteric ritual
harboured about our adventure. were numerous comments and can emulate.
Minapin glacier with Rakaposhi in the background / Haider Warraich

Refreshed, we packed up and depart-

ed for Hunza, where we camped out
in an apple orchard in full bloom –
with Rakaposhi still overlooking us.
After a feast of some exquisite yak
meat, we moved on to view the sto-
ried Altit and Baltit forts, once homes
to the royal family of Hunza and
famous for never having been cap-
tured by the enemy. Little can com-
pare with the view of the Hunza
Valley from the top of Baltit Fort,
with the Indus river snaking by the
feet of magnificent Rakaposhi.
Having had enough of the scenic
appetisers, we set off for Tagafari, the
most beautiful of Rakaposhi’s multi-
ple base camps. Short of time, we bat-
tled sunburn, aching muscles, limited
food and water supplies, and lest I
forget, rabid bees, as we made our The last few steps to Tagafari base camp were the hardest. Haider Warraich


Five Seasons in the Sun

Sana Khalid, MBBS 10

“Time flies at AKU”, said our facilitator teaching the about memorising facts, but it is also about finding out
blood and inflammation module, an AKU graduate him- your consultant’s likes and dislikes. It is a time when you
self. As we sat through the class, we thought that if we fin- look up to the final year students and consider them
ished this chapter it would be a big achievement, let alone Mr/Miss Know-All and wonder in awe if you will ever be
completing five years at AKU. able to reach their level. Third year is all about waiting for
We may all be familiar with four seasons, but at AKU that one rotation in ENT and Eye. V Very soon you turn a
we have five: one for every year that we spend here. page as the fourth year finally dawns.
The first season is all about getting
used to the surroundings. It is a year of
big decisions, of the sort that one has
never made or never will again.
Decisions like whether to study from
Guyton or Harrison, whether to be a
part of the many societies on campus
or to just stick to studying, whether to
contest the elections as a candidate or
to just support a friend, whether to
study from Lippincott or just do Dr
PI’s (Dr Pervaiz Iqbal) lectures – all
have to be made. And before you
know it, you are studying for your first
professional. Not knowing what to do,
like a docile sheep you follow the
herd, you spend the day in the library
trying to study and the night in the
graveyard cafe. And just when you feel
like you are on the brink of failing the AKU U Medical College courtyard, Pakistan.
first exam in your life, a senior student
comes to the rescue and introduces the magical word of If I were to summarise year four, its LR OR (Labour
totas (sample questions) to your vocabulary. And what fol- Room, Operating Room). Don’t get me wrong, but most of
lows is well known. We sail smoothly into the second sea- our rotations do revolve around that one room. In obstet-
son of AKU. rics and gynaecology you see mothers delivering, in paedi-
Some ambiguities still remain. But this time around, atrics you are concerned of the well-being of the child who
one is more accustomed to the surroundings. This year has been delivered and in anaesthesiology, you assist in
marks one of the most dreaded modules of all, neuro- putting mothers to sleep.
sciences and its professional exam, one of the toughest of The final season at AKU is a year of realisation that so
the five years. This season ends too. many things have changed around you: your group, your
Before you know it, the lab coats become your daily ambitions and sometimes even your whole perspective
attire, your patients are no longer simulated, their pain and toward life. YYou realise that behind that façade of Mr/Miss
suffering no longer unreal, their smiles and tears no longer Know-All is someone who is afraid of being insulted in
fake. If you think you have climbed up the professional front of their seniors. It did surprise me that at the end of
ladder, think again, because you have just been thrown, five years one leaves this place equipped with the knowl-
once again, to the very bottom. Only this time, it is a edge of diagnosing diseases, understanding patients and
changed world. Once it was your facilitators guiding you, learning to read laboratory reports. So time does actually
now it is the consultants, once it was the lecture halls, now fly and all I can do is smile in affirmation to what my
Y soon realise that homework is not all
it is the wards. You facilitator said at the beginning of my seasons at AKU.


A Journey My Way
Just Begun Shazia Naz Waris, Post RN BScN 09

Shirin Chunara RN Diploma 91,

Post RN BScN 96

I am a proud AKU alumnus living in Everyone has a life story and I want was the right choice for me. WWith the
the USA. Like many of us, I too had to share my enriching experiences as great nurse leaders at the Hospital as
a dream: to pursue higher education, a nurse with my fellow nurses. role models and mentors, there have
the seed of which was sown when I I had never met a nurse before I been many opportunities to mature
was only a second year nursing stu- joined this profession. During my and increase my nursing capacities.
dent. Looking at many of our faculty high school years, I read about For three years I worked as a
who had Master’s and PhD degrees Florence Nightingale in a textbook bed-side nurse in the obstetric unit
– back when not many and she so captured my attention with postnatal mothers and new-
nurses had these cre- that I wanted to pursue nursing. It borns. I was a unit team leader and
dentials – I would was not easy entering this profes- also worked as a nursery nurse, spe-
always wonder, what sion as my entire family did not cial care nurse and medication nurse.
it would be like to be support my decision. “We do not In 2007, Aga Khan University
a nurse with a gradu- want to waste our girls on nursing; offered to sponsor my Post RN
ate degree to her nurses have no worth” were the BScN studies – and that was one of
name? Seventeen words of one uncle. Nonetheless I the happiest moments of my life. It
years later, I hold an was able to join the profession at reaffirmed the fact that my dedicated
MSN degree and am a the young age of 16. I came to live efforts had not been wasted.
Family Nurse in a hostel and it was a challenge to I completed my two-year degree
Practitioner. This is a adjust to the new environment. But programme and rejoined the same
very different role with the support of my teachers and obstetric unit as a Clinical Nurse
from a traditional friends, I was able to excel in my Instructor where my main responsi-
nurse for now the nursing diploma. T Today, I still bilities are in staff development,
scope of what I can do vividly remember the words of my patient safety and satisfaction. We
has increased: I have principal, “You are the right hand of have a multidisciplinary team
the authority to diag- our institute.” approach that is exciting and chal-
nose as well as pre- There were many memorable lenging and always a learning expe-
Ayesha Vellani
scribe medicines. This incidents during my diploma pro- rience for me.
is quite challenging as gramme. As a second year student, I I hear from other nurses about
one has to keep abreast of new med- shared a room with three others. the lack of work satisfaction but I
ical guidelines and also learn about One particular day, thinking it was 6 don’t agree. I feel that I am one of
new diseases and conditions. am and that we were late for clini- the luckiest people in the world. My
What I have learnt is that the sky cals, we hurriedly changed into our profession has not only given me
is the limit. We are very fortunate uniforms and rushed for breakfast – satisfaction but has also made me
that our roots in nursing come from only to glance out of the window one of the strongest earning mem-
Aga Khan University School of and see stars shining in the dark bers in my family, which now sees
Nursing and we can very proudly tell sky. It was 6 pm and not 6 am and a me as a role model.
everyone that we are AKU grads! reflection of how passionate and I want to continue this amazing
Higher education can open the enthusiastic we were about our journey in nursing. The challenges
doors to many opportunities in the nursing duties. that I have faced and overcome in
future. We can make a difference in On completing my diploma, I life have made me a stronger per-
a person’s life, or in a community, in joined Aga Khan University Hospital son. I am also proud of how I
a nation and together in the whole as a registered nurse in 2003. I will changed my family’s perception
world. But equipping one’s self with never forget those early days of about the profession, and I am
adequate formal education is the learning and how I progressed in pleased to know that they are now
key. In education the “journey has refining my nursing skills. I soon proud of my achievements as a pro-
just begun”. realised that the nursing profession fessional nurse.


When Care Matters

Hasan B. Alam, MBBS ’90 is Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Director of
Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program. He is also the Director of Research, Division of Trauma,
Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr Alam is an
internationally renowned investigator in the field of trauma research, and an inspiring teacher in both
clinical and laboratory settings.

Tell us about your early years? chief resident in general surgery sor of surgery at the Georgetown
I received my medical education in from 1997-98. Later, I did a fel- University Medical School and the
Karachi, Pakistan from the lowship in trauma and surgical crit- Uniformed Services University of
Adamjee Science College in 1984 ical care at Washington Hospital the Health Sciences. I then shifted
and a medical degree from AKU- Center, followed by a postdoctoral to the Massachusetts General
MC in 1990. After interning for a research fellowship at the Hospital (MGH) in 2005.
year at the University Hospital, I Uniformed Services University of
did my residency at the Washington the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Can you tell us a little bit more
Hospital Centre, serving as the Maryland. I was associate profes- about your work at MGH?


After I took up the directorship of for brain injury, and design of new Teaching is the most enjoyable
the Surgical Critical Care/Acute tools and devices. A number of my aspect of my academic career, and
Care Surgery Fellowship at MGH, findings have been translated into the major reason why I will never
under my leadership, this pro- clinical practice during the wars in go into private practice. In many
gramme has become one of the Iraq and Afghanistan, and have ways we try to evolve into role
most sought-after fellowships in the saved many lives. models. I have benefited enor-
US. I am also the Medical Director mously from my teachers at AKU
of the Knight’s Surgical Laboratory How do you obtain funding for and in the US, and I continue to
at MGH. Currently, I am going your research work? use them as inspiration during my
through the promotion process to be Over the last 10 years I have own development and growth. In
appointed as full professor at the secured competitive federal some sense this is a journey with-
Harvard Medical School. research grants from a variety of out an end.
sources. These projects developed
What other activities are you advanced dressings for the control You appear to have struck a bal-
involved in outside Harvard of bleeding, new methods for ance between research and teach-
Medical School? replacing lost blood, drugs to main- ing, clinical work and adminis-
I have had several administrative and tain life following massive injuries, trative responsibilities. Give us
leadership responsibilities over the and improved our understanding of an insight as to how you man-
last few years which span across the cellular changes during shock. aged to successfully achieve this?
local, regional, and national arenas. In 2009 alone, I was awarded three There is no simple formula, but
Since 2008, I have chaired the grants as a principal investigator experience has taught me that five
American College of Surgeons worth nearly $8 million (including things are critical for success: 1)
Committee on Trauma and the State a new R01 grant from the NIH). Finding the right mentors, 2)
Trauma Outcomes Committee for the Soon after my arrival at the MGH, impeccable time management, 3)
Department of Public Health in the I established a première trauma careful planning and setting mean-
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I research programme which was ingful goals, 4) writing regularly,
am also a consultant to the funded by numerous grants from and 5) marrying the right person.
Massachusetts Health Commissioner the US Department of Defense and My residents often laugh about the
for trauma related issues. the National Institutes of Health. last point, but without a supportive
At the national and international spouse you can’t juggle all these
levels, I am part of 15 major soci- What do you believe is the responsibilities without sacrificing
eties to which I actively contribute impact of your work? How are your family.
on various committees. Recently, I people benefiting from it? Intelligence and hard work are
was elected as a member of the Injuries are the leading cause of not as important as discipline and
American Surgical Association, the death for young people. In the US, perseverance. You will find nearly
nation’s oldest and most prestigious more individuals under the age of everyone around you to be intelli-
surgical organisation whose mem- 34 are killed by injuries than all gent and hard working. But, in a
bership is widely acknowledged as a other causes put together. demanding academic environment,
seal of academic excellence. I am Even in developing countries people who can’t manage their
also on the editorial boards of four intentional and unintentional time properly don’t thrive.
peer-reviewed journals including the injuries are rapidly becoming a Similarly, the common trait in all
Critical Care Medicine, the most major health care issue. The eco- academically successful individuals
prestigious publication in its field nomic impact of death and disabili- is that they write very well, and
and also serve as an ad-hoc reviewer ty in this segment of the population they write regularly.
for 20 publications. is clearly huge. Developing meth- All of my trainees are required
ods to save lives of these young to write something every day, at
What is the focus of your research? people has enormous health care, least five days a week. Whether
My interest is in developing life social, and economic implications. they write a manuscript, grant pro-
saving methods for trauma patients. posal, research protocol, blog or
Therefore, my research work Within two years of joining the poetry is not as important as the
focuses on innovative methods for MGH, you were awarded the fact that they acquire the discipline
controlling bleeding, resuscitation, Charles J. McCabe Surgical to write on schedule. The written
cooling the body for preservation, Resident’s Teaching Award. How word is the currency of academic
developing drugs to prevent death would you assess your journey as promotion, and you can’t succeed
following lethal injuries, treatments a teacher? without being a prolific writer.


The New Face of Nursing

Salimah Meghani, Post RN BScN ’97, went on to earn several degrees from the University of
Pennsylvania: MSN in Adult Acute Care, MBE in Biomedical Ethics and PhD in Nursing/Health
Disparities. She has also completed her postdoctoral training from the University of Pennsylvania,
School of Nursing at the Center for Health Disparities Research. She is now Assistant Professor in the
Biobehavioral and Health Sciences Division, Penn Nursing.

Why did you choose nursing as in health care and the mechanisms
a career? that make irrelevant characteristics
I wish I could say that I knew all relevant in health outcomes. My
about the wonderful possibilities work has raised awareness of these
of a career in nursing at the very issues and I have participated at
outset but my professional begin- national level to strategise policies
nings were not very well thought to ameliorate these disparities.
out. The motivation at the time My research has also explored
was the emphasis by His Highness inequities in opioid (such as mor-
the Aga Khan on the profession of phine) availability for pain relief
nursing and its promise for between developed and developing
improving both the lives of people nations; a component of this work
and the social standing of women. includes efforts to understand the
policy-level impediments underly-
What are your current involve- ing these international disparities.
My role at Penn Nursing includes What stereotypes, if any, have you
teaching, advising and mentoring faced about nursing? What has
students as well as developing and changed and why?
sustaining a programme of Although we have come a long way,
research on health disparities, stereotypes about nursing are still
health care decision-making, present in many segments of socie-
behavioural economics and symp- What can you tell us about your ty. The stereotypes have changed in
tom management outcomes in vul- current research? What do you instances where nurses have stepped
nerable populations. I am also an believe is the impact of your out of their traditional roles and
Associate Fellow of Bioethics at work? demonstrated potential as leaders
University of Pennsylvania School My research programme, supported and visionaries.
of Medicine and a member of the by the National Institutes of Health By way of an example – and
New Courtland Center for and other grants, is geared towards since I am a pain disparities
Transitions and Health. improving health outcomes in the researcher – a number of past presi-
In a nutshell, my role is to con- most vulnerable populations. My dents of the American Pain Society
tribute to the rich academic culture current research is related to cancer have been nurses. These nurses have
of the University through scholarly pain treatment disparities among offered leadership and vision to a
work, leadership and to prepare the racial and ethnic minorities; it large national professional body
next generation of nurse clinicians addresses why certain groups of comprising of bench scientists,
and researchers. individuals are treated differentially anaesthesiologists, surgeons, den-


tists, clinical psychologists and pain special-

ists among others.
I believe that such a cross-disciplinary Vigil
at AKU
partnership is one avenue to addressing
stereotypes among health professionals. At
the same time there is a need to educate the
public about the important contributions nurs-
es make nationally and internationally. Taimur Khan, MBBS 02
If stereotypes about nursing still exist in
the 21st century when nurses are contributing
to valuable research, impacting clinical out- There were long balconies before the small hostel rooms
comes and changing health policy, then per- And it was barely light enough to see the heavy clouds
haps we need to re-evaluate if we have failed Drift before the sun could break another day.
as a profession to articulate our important role
to the public. Another young man sitting on one of those rooftops
Smiled and reassured me saying it will go well,
What are some of the challenges you faced And I inspired appraisal and air in the same breath.
and still face in your career path?
Professionally, among the most important There were biscuit crumbs and long bones on
challenges are to strive continually to stay A crumpled white bed sheet in my room, and
ahead of the rapid developments in the field, The room itself was full of dreams,
finding balance among the many roles, and to
remind myself that I must learn everyday and Which often emerged from
renew my perspectives. Teabags or sugar tins, a set of strings or a dusty book,
In terms of career options in nursing, the And slid into the closet, hushed between a row
sky is the limit cliché appropriately applies. Of shirts, or inside the knot of a tie I could not tie.
One can choose to become a bedside nurse
making a direct difference to patient popula- That was the problem - where to look for them, especially
tions, or can aspire to become an academician When the wind blew bleating wet and stark, and there
preparing the next generation of qualified Still was a faraway place alive with things that made it home.
professionals, a cutting edge scientist leading
a team of researchers, or a policy maker influ- They were dreams but all were not as roses.
encing how health care is to be delivered. Some were monsters that I thought if I ever saw,
I would want to die.
How did Aga Khan University contribute
towards preparing you for your current And most of this time, although I was not there, as it were, in
role? a world without me,
I give AKU credit for equipping me with the The Indian-red building heaved with allegories
tools and aspirations to be successful in a Of young minds in sleep and awe, as the body in excess came
rigorous scholarly environment. The apart in their hands.
University really provides its graduates with
a sound foundation which makes their future It was strange to know thyself as body,
transitions smooth and seamless. Or to think in those days what beckoned me
I see AKU as an oasis of hope for many To the sounds I did not know and words I could not say.
whose beginnings are humble but futures
remarkable. I would note that AKU has a
very progressive academic culture that is rig-
orous, dynamic and socially responsive, and
that leverages national and international Nominations Wanted!
partnerships. However, three areas where
AKU can develop and improve further are The AKU-NAMA Editorial Board seeks nominations for distin-
research intensiveness, cross-disciplinary guished alumni profiles from all programmes, departments and
partnerships, and building strong endowment entities. Please send a short profile of your nominee to:
funds for the University.


Medical College in Dallas

Shain Amershi, Executive Coordinator, AKU Alumni Association North America

Words cannot express the festive

atmosphere at the medical college
alumni reunion in Dallas, Texas this
July. It was by far the largest AKU
Medical College alumni reunion held
in recent memory with over 150
attendees. Even though it was a week-
end of stormy weather, we were not
to be deterred. Those present at the
reunion will agree that dealing with
delayed flights, last minute scrambles
for tickets and accommodation were
all finally well worth the effort.
Speaking on the occasion, pres-
ident of the AKU Alumni
Association, North American
Chapter, Dr Faiz Bhora, encouraged
the alumni to actively participate in
their Association and acknowledged
individuals who have been active AKU’s first MBBS graduates at the Alumni Reunion in Dallas: (l-r) Dr Asad Abbas
members. Farhat Abbas, Dean of Abidi ’89, Dr Basith Ghazali ’88 and Dr Shahid Shafi ’88. Abdul Haq Wahedna
the Medical College in Pakistan,
then expounded on the possibility MBBS ’89, Asad Abbas, MBBS ’89 one present having a wonderful time.
of collaboration between alumni and Ali Kizilbash, MBBS ’90 enter- Two anniversary celebrations were
and the University. tained the audience with their amaz- announced: the Class of 1990 and
AKU is expanding internation- ing vocals. Some impromptu singing the Class of 1995 celebrating their
ally and Carol Ariano, Vice and dancing took place with every- 20th and 15th anniversaries respec-
President, Human Resources gave
specific examples of positions that
the University is currently looking
to fill and the role alumni could
play in this process. The formal part
of the evening ended with Louis R.
Ariano, Registrar, thanking alumni
for attending the celebrations. This
was followed by a short video on
AKU that captured the difference
the University has made and its
ambitious goals to become a com-
prehensive university in several
parts of the globe.
Post dinner, awards were handed
out to key persons to acknowledge
their contribution to the growth of
AKUANA followed by a pleasant
surprise: a show by talented alumni.
Hafeez Diwan, MBBS ’91 was the
MC and stand-up comedian for the Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their graduation, the MBBS Class of 1990
evening while singers Saira Khan, reunite in Dallas. Adeel A. Butt


tively. Both Classes took the oppor-

tunity to make short presentations
about their ‘life journey’ with the
Class of 1990 announcing that they
were raising funds to set up an
endowment for the University.
Last but not least, the local organ-
ising committee, Azam Kundi, MBBS
’92, Basith Ghazali, MBBS ’88, and
Saira Khan, MBBS ’92 among others,
must be acknowledged for their
efforts to make this an exemplary
evening for alumni to meet and cele-
brate their successes.
The event also saw discussions
between alumni and University facul-
ty and staff on a permanent alumni email address, a visiting fac-
ulty programme, and the challenges
of accommodating medical students
waiting to be placed in US institutions
for their electives.
Team 1: Asad Khan (c), Behzad Zafar, Zain Urfi, Mustafa Raoof, Waleed Kayani,
Mark your dairies: AKU Alumni
Ali Hashimi, Umair Khan; Team 2: Ali Kazmi (c), Ahmed Awais, Safdar Ansari,
Reunion 2011 will be held on the July
Fraz Ahmed, Zakariya Imam, Salman Bandeali, Imran Tahir.
4 weekend in St. Louis, Missouri.
Hopefully there will be an even better
turn out next year. Houston, October 10, 2010: Houston was the setting for an unusual cricket
Please visit the AKUANA web- match between Team 1 and Team 2! In the first 10:10 match (10 overs
site for more information on activi- each) Team 1 beat Team 2. In the second match of 8 overs each, Team 2
ties and events: took revenge and beat Team 1.

Nurses Reunite!

Dinner at the AKU-SON Alumni Reunion, Dallas. Abdul Haq Wahedna


People in New Positions Campus Talk

Dr Robert Armstrong has been appointed the The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
Foundation Dean, Medical College, East Africa. In this presented its Merit Award for Excellence in Planning
role Dr Armstrong will serve as the Chief Academic for District or Campus Component to AKU for a
Officer and Chair, Academic Committee, East Africa. University Village land use plan for its new Faculty of Arts
Before joining AKU, he was Associate Professor and and Sciences in Pakistan. This award was presented to the
Head, Department of Paediatrics at the University of University and Goody Clancy, the planning consultant dur-
British Columbia and Chief, Paediatric Medicine at BC ing a ceremony at SCUP’s annual conference. The univer-
Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital. Dr sity village will provide 500-plus acres of residential
Armstrong has conducted extensive research in the areas neighbourhoods, retail, service and entertainment facilities
of childhood disability, the development of population- for students, faculty, staff and their families.
based strategies for the prevention of developmental dis- The University’s Department of Emergency Medicine
orders and clinical and health services strategies for was recently designated as a World Health Organization
improving outcomes of children with disabilities. Collaborating Centre, one of the first in the world for
A prize winning author, researcher and scholar in lan- emergency medicine and trauma care. The Centre will
guage testing, Professor Rea-Dickins is the new carry out public health research in emergency medicine
Director, AKU-IED, EA, as well as the Principal of the and trauma care, focusing on the epidemiology of injuries
Tanzania Institute of Higher Education. Her career experi- and on identifying cost-effective solutions for emergency
ences include assignments in Sub-Saharan Africa includ- care. It will also be involved in the capacity building of
ing five years at the University of Dar es Salaam, public health professionals in injury prevention and con-
Tanzania and appointments at the University of Warwick trol, and of emergency health care providers in the princi-
and University of Lancaster, UK. Prior to joining AKU, ples of emergency trauma care.
she held the position of Chair of Applied Linguistics in
Education at the Graduate School of Education, AKU’s Flood Relief Efforts
University of Bristol, UK. She has written and/or edited
10 books, and guest edited special issues of leading jour- The University’s response to Flood 2010 is a ‘living’
nals in the field of language testing and assessment in demonstration of its guiding principles of impact, access,
education. A book co-authored by Professor Rea-Dickins quality and relevance: over 620 faculty, staff and students
was awarded the Frank Bell Prize. volunteered their time for field or administrative work;
Zahir Janmohamed has been appointed the new AKU employees contributed a day’s salary to fund med-
Director General, Resource Development. He has over 25 ications, collecting over Rs 7.9 million towards this effort;
years of experience in the financial and non-profit sectors. and health services in the field were backstopped by the
Amongst his various voluntary leadership experiences, he entire University’s machinery.
has served on the board of the Scarborough Hospital in At present, AKU is providing basic health care in 14
Canada, as well as been a trustee of the United Way of districts, 10 in Sindh, three in the Punjab and one in
Greater Houston and The Post Oak School in Texas. He Balochistan. Teams are providing services through camps,
will be responsible for expanding the University’s mobile units, and basic health units or hospitals temporar-
resource development base and donations. ily taken over from the government.
Dr Rahat Qureshi has been appointed as the Chair, In addition, more long standing issues such as malnu-
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Aga trition are also being addressed. AKU has linked up with
Khan University, Karachi. She holds an MBBS from the Ministry of Health’s National Programme for Family
Dow Medical College and is a Fellow and Member of Planning and Primary Health Care to reach out to the most
the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UK. vulnerable of children in Sindh. A rapid nutrition survey of
She has been associated with the department for over children under 5 in AKU-run relief centres and the sur-
23 years. rounding communities has been completed with the results
Dr Anita Zaidi has been appointed the Chair, feeding into an in-depth review of the nutrition training
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. She graduat- offered to LHWs. Micronutrient supplements and supple-
ed from AKU in 1988 and pursued her residency in pae- mentary foods are also being distributed. AKU doctors and
diatrics and fellowship in medical microbiology from paramedics staff are counselling communities on WASH
Duke University, North Carolina and a fellowship in (water, sanitation and hygiene) to educate about the long
infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital, Boston, term benefits to the child, the family and the community.
Harvard Medical School. Dr Zaidi also holds a Master of In the recovery phase, the University is using its
Science in Tropical and Public Health from the Harvard experience to empower communities to sustain this effort
School of Public Health. in the longer term.


Medical College Ayesha Hasan is currently paediatric Karachi site coordinator of a research
Chief of Staff at the Winnie study on developing a model surveil-
1995 Community Hospital in Texas. lance system for cardiometabolic dis-
eases, with Emory University, for the
Muna Bhutta, with an MRCOG Yassar Ahmed recently finished his Centre for Cardiometabolic Risk
from the UK, presently works as a infectious diseases fellowship from Reduction for South Asia.
Consultant, Obstetrics and the Baylor College of Medicine in
Gynaecology in Riyadh, Saudi Houston and is now an infectious dis- 2009
Arabia. She is a mother of four and eases consultant within the Texas
her husband, Dr Waheed Hashmi, is Medical Centre. Abdul Saboor Memon, after com-
a general, paediatric and laparoscop- pleting his residency in anaesthesia
ic surgeon. 2002 from AKU, has been working as a
Senior Registrar at the Memon
1997 Hamid Bashir remembers the class Medical Institute, a project of Memon
of 2002 as very diverse, involved in Health and Education Foundation.
Suraiya Rahman moved from musical events and annual days.
Kansas to Los Angeles with her fami- During his residency and fellowship 2010
ly this summer. Practicing as a paedi- days in the US, aware of the negative
atric hospitalist in Kansas, she devel- image of Pakistan, he set up Anam Khan recently got married to
oped an interest in teaching. She is Music4Cause, a forum to promote Waleed Kayani MBBS ’07, who is
now enrolled in the Master of peace and harmony via music. In less doing his residency at the Baylor
Academic Medicine, an online pro- than a year, its YouTube page has College of Medicine.
gramme customised for working pro- received more than 8,000 hits. His
fessionals at the University of music has made it to the ARY music Komal Masood recently got engaged
Southern California (USC). She was channel and he performed for the to Ehad Afreen KEMU ’10.
happy to find a fellow alumnus from Daniel Pearl World Music Day.
the class of 1999 in one of her cours- Mariam Anis got engaged to Farooq
es. Suraiya also teaches first and sec- Muna Ahmed welcomed a new addi- Khan MBBS ’06, who is doing his
ond year medical students at USC’s tion to her family, Zorina, who was residency at the University of
Keck School of Medicine, which born September 14, 2010. Cincinnati and they are due to get
reminds her of AKU. One of the married this coming February.
courses she teaches is Professionalism 2006
in the Practice of Medicine. Institute for Educational
Fazal Arain is currently doing a PhD Development
1998 in neuroscience from Vanderbilt
University, Nashville, Tennessee. 2006
Adil Haider was recently appointed
Director of the Centre for Surgery 2007 Najma Raja, a graduate from the
Trials and Outcomes Research, Johns Centre of English Language’s
Hopkins School of Medicine. Zuhaib Ibrahim won the first prize Advanced Diploma programme, was
in the surgical resident jeopardy held recently awarded a shield for the
2001 by Pennsylvania keystone chapter of Most Dedicated Teacher from the
the American College of Surgery. principal of the PECHS Government
Agha Feroze’s special interests lie Residents from eight general surgery College for Women.
in aesthetics and anti-aging proce- residency programmes participated in
dures. He has set up clinics in this event. 2007
Rawalpindi and Islamabad which he
runs with his wife’s help. He is also 2009 Anthony Gioko was one of the
the founder and managing director regional winners of the 2010
of two local charities. Hassan Khan, who did his MSc in Innovative Teacher Awards at the
Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Pan-African Innovative Education
Asad Ali is Assistant Professor at AKU, is working as a research coor- Forum hosted by the Microsoft
the Department of Paediatrics and dinator at the Community Health Partners in Learning Network. “I
Child Health at Aga Khan Sciences Department at Aga Khan will tell my students this is like
University, Karachi. University, Karachi. He is also the playing in the World Cup, but better


– it’s for teachers!” He received his 1986 Consultant with Catco Kids Inc. In
award for Innovation in Content, this current role, she has updated
one of the four main competition Karima Gulwani specialises in health policies, developed and con-
categories and went on to represent geriatric nursing and is in her 12th ducted medical training programmes
Africa at the sixth annual Worldwide year as the Director of Nursing at related to the health of the child,
Innovative Education Forum held in Santa Monica Convalescent Centre. evacuation plans and health and
South Africa in October. safety inspections.
Shairoze Jessani is currently work- 1998
ing as head of the academic unit of a After having a baby in March,
higher secondary school. She attend- Amynah Pradhan returned as an Muhammad Afzal is the Principal
ed a summer programme on Islam in Oncology Research Nurse at the of Department of Nursing,
Cambridge last year. National Institutes of Health in University of Lahore. In 2005, he
Bethesda, Maryland, and as a Nurse was appointed Deputy Manager,
In recognition of her 20 years of Practitioner at a family practice clin- Nursing at the Liaquat National
service at the Habib Girls’ School ic. Being an advanced practice nurse Hospital in Karachi and in 2006 was
and for her contributions to improv- has broadened her horizon in deliv- promoted as Manager. After his
ing the School’s education system, ering primary care to the public and MScN, he joined Saida Waheed
Simeen Saleem, senior coordinator she hopes that this programme can FMH College of Nursing, Lahore as
in the Science Department, was also be brought to Pakistan. Senior Nursing Instructor.
nominated for the Service
Excellence Award, KFC in 2009. Fauzia Pesnani (formerly Molwani) 1999
worked at AKU for almost eight years
School of Nursing before shifting to Shell Pakistan as an Rozmeen Shivji is working at the
occupational health nurse/administra- University of Chicago as an Acute
1983 tor. Developing a keen interest in this Care Nurse Practitioner.
field, she enrolled in a three-year
Shehnaz Jiwany sends greetings to postgraduate diploma programme in After graduation, Shamsa Virani
all former colleagues and cherishes Occupational Health and Safety moved to Los Angeles, California,
the sweet memories of working with Management at the University of where she pursued her Bachelor’s
them at Aga Khan University and is South Australia, Adelaide. Since and Master’s in Nursing, and gradu-
thankful to the AKU-NAMA team January 2009, she has been working ated as a Nurse Practitioner/Clinical
for helping her connect with friends with a leading pharmaceutical compa- Nurse Specialist from the University
once again. ny. She has also completed the of California, Los Angeles in 2006.
OHSAS (Occupational Health and She is currently working at Los
1985 Safety Management Systems) Angeles County Hospital as a Nurse
18001:2007 Lead Auditors course Practitioner in Internal Medicine and
Mehmooda Afroz has worked as a offered by SGS. at a Rape Crisis Centre in LA. “As
midwife for 12 years; of these, nine tough as the job is, it makes me
have been with AKHS where she is Nasreen Hussain sends greetings to more understanding, patient and
Assistant Manager, Nursing all the alumni. empathic nurse and helps me see a
Development. Currently she is doing very different side of nursing care.”
her BScN – her dream ever since Shirin Valliani is a proud AKU In October 2009, she took a six-
she received her midwifery diploma alumna living in the USA. Having month sabbatical and went to work
in 1986 from Aga Khan Hospital for completed her MSN in Family in Egypt with the Aga Khan
Women, Garden (formerly Aga Nurse Practice, she feels fortunate to Foundation. AKU-SON has part-
Khan Maternity Home, Garden) – have fulfilled these dreams. Her nered with the Egyptian Om-
and plans to go onto a Master’s in message to colleagues and friends is Habibeh Foundation (an AKDN
Midwifery from AKU. to always feel proud of their roots as affiliate) in Aswan, to build local
they reach for the sky. nursing capacities.
Rozina Dattu has completed her
Post RN BScN programme this year, 1992 2001
and is working as head nurse at the
Aga Khan Hospital for Women and Shireen Jan Mohammad is work- Mehtab Jaffer is presently working
Children, Kharadar. ing as a Child Care Health as a Clinical Nurse Instructor in out-


patient services at AKU. She finds it at Aga Khan University and will
a challenging task to work with graduate in 2011. Request for
countless specialities in a clinic but Contributions
it helps her acquire new skills while 2007
working with different consultants The editors of AKU-NAMA invite
and surgeons. After graduation, Atiya Khowaja you to contribute to the next issue
worked at the Cardiac Intensive of the magazine.
2002 Care Unit (ICU) at AKUH and Your story may highlight inter-
recently enrolled in the Master’s in esting career options, unique job
Farida Khan was promoted to the health policy management pro- experiences, ground-breaking
position of Acting Director at Al gramme at AKU. research, innovative public service
Shifa College of Nursing, initiatives, or other materials of
Islamabad. Minaz Mawani completed her criti- particular interest to the alumni.
cal care nursing course from George You can also contribute opinion
2003 Brown College, Ontario and is pieces on trends in education and
working at Cardiac ICU, AKUH. modern technology, book reviews
Shela Hirani has completed her and travelogues. Letters to the edi-
Advanced Diploma in Early Child Sindhu Sharifani was promoted tor are also welcome.
Development from AKU’s Human Assistant Head Nurse at the Aga Article length should be

Back cover photo: Medical College graduates at Conovocation 2010, Pakistan / AKU
Development Programme and has Khan Hospital for Women and approximately 500-600 words.
defended her Master’s thesis on Children, Kharadar. Photographs are welcome but they
Testing Psychometric Properties of must be high resolution digital pho-
an Instrument Designed to Measure 2008 tographs (JPEG files over 1MB).
Pakistani Urban Working Mothers’ Articles can be submitted at
Perceptions about Breastfeeding Saima Rajpali is working as a regis-
Support. Shela is currently working tered nurse at the Bone Marrow ticles.asp
as a Senior Instructor at AKU-SON. Transplant Unit, AKUH since Class notes can be submitted at
November 2008. She delivered a
2004 presentation, ‘Specialised Nursing notes.asp
Care Dealing with BMT’ as part of a Do you know any alumni still
Kashmira Nanji completed her programme to mark the 100th bone not on the AKU-NAMA mailing
MSc in Epidemiology and marrow transplant procedure carried list? Send them to
Biostatistics at AKU in 2009 and out at the Hospital.
received a distinction for her thesis. tact.asp
She was recently appointed Senior 2009 Thank you for all your previ-
Instructor, Research, Department of ous submissions, feedback and sug-
Family Medicine. Gulzar Habibullah was offered a gestions. Now let’s keep the ball
position as guest lecturer in the rolling for the upcoming issue.
Zohra Jassani (formerly Kabirani) School of Nursing, Khyber Medical
is working for Aga Khan Health University. She has also been working
Service, Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. as Vice Principal in the Community
She is proud to work as an AKU Midwife School, Battagram under the
graduate in a sister organisation in National Maternal, Newborn and
the East African region. Child Health Programme.

2006 Shireen Arif is currently working at

Baqai College of Nursing as Senior
Rozina Mahnojia is currently living Nursing Instructor and Year
in Melbourne, Australia and is work- Coordinator. Her recent achievements
ing in geriatric care. include six published articles, present-
ed at an AKU Research Assembly, in
Saima Khan married just after her addition to her contributions for inter-
graduation and has a two-year-old national publications. We regret the error in Vol. 3, Issue 1,
baby boy, Shanaf Ali. She is p.18: Dr Adnan A. Hyder is Class of
enrolled in the bioethics programme Class notes compiled by Alina Sadaf MBBS ’13 1990 not 2000.

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