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Germany funds new Aga Khan centre in Tanzania 2016-04-11

Monday, 2016, April 11
East African Business Week
Timothy Kitundu

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - The Aga Khan University (AKU) opened the new home of its School of Nursing and Midwifery in Dar es Salaam at Salama House last week.

“The partnership between AKU, the Federal Republic of Germany and the EAC, plus the support of the Republic of Tanzania will give more nurses and midwives an opportunity to improve their clinical and leadership capacities,” Al-Karim Haji, the AKU Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer said.

This state-of-the-art facility inaugurated last week is mandated to train nursing and midwifery leaders dedicated to saving lives and improving health care for the people of Tanzania.

In his remarks, Dr. Sezibera, outgoing Secretary General of the EAC said Aga Khan University is playing a leading role in the region’s effort to harmonize and modernize nursing curricula and standards across member states.

He said, “This facility is another example of AKU’s longstanding commitment to educating much-needed nurses and midwives to improve the quality of health care for East Africans, and of the Aga Khan Development Network’s broader contribution to improving the lives of East Africans.”

The €1.2 million (TSh.2.95 billion) project was funded as part of a €17.2 million (TSh.42 billion) grant to AKU from the Federal Republic of Germany to improve health in East Africa by providing nurses and midwives with high-quality education and training.

In addition to funding the renovation and expansion of Salama House, the grant will enable more students to attend AKU and has helped the University to develop the curriculum for its planned post-RM Bachelor of Science in Midwifery. The East African Community (EAC) played an important role in making it possible for AKU to receive the funding. Enhancement

The opening was presided over by Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development; Dr. Helmut Schön, KfW Country Director for Tanzania; Dr. Richard Sezibera, outgoing Secretary General of the EAC; Dr. Hamisi Kigwangalla, Tanzanian Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children; and Al-Karim Haji, AKU Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

Dr. Müller said that Tanzania has a fraction of the highly skilled nurses and midwives it needs, hence more modern facilities for nursing and midwifery education are needed

Al-Karim Haji said with the opening of the new home of School of Nursing and Midwifery, they were helping to change the trend of shortage of skilled nurses and midwives.

“The opening of this facility is a significant event in the development of nursing and midwifery in Tanzania,” Dr. Kigwangalla said.

Adding that the facility will help Tanzania educate the kind of nurses and midwives needed; those who can tackle complex problems and ensure that all Tanzanians get the health care they deserve. “Aga Khan University, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the EAC have our appreciation,” he said.

AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery’s new home includes the resources needed to educate nursing and midwifery leaders using the latest methods: a library with new digital resources, a computer lab, modern classrooms, and a high-quality science lab and skills lab.

In addition to enhancing the quality of the School’s existing nursing programmes, the project has also increased available space, which will allow AKU to launch a new post-RM Bachelor of Science in Midwifery programme and to train more working nurses through its professional development programmes.

AKU has graduated more than 2,100 nurses in East Africa since 2004. In Tanzania it has educated more than 600 nurses including 311 who hold a Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing that prepares graduates for leadership and which is held by relatively few Tanzanians.

By Timothy Kitundu, Monday, April 11th, 2016

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