On February 16, 1981, Mowlana Hazar Imam was in Karachi to attend the inauguration ceremony of the School of Nursing of the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical Collage by President General Mohammed Zia Ul-Haq of Pakistan.
The completion of the School of Nursing, which is the first phase of the major $250 million hospital and teaching institution, marks a major step in the progress of nursing education in Pakistan.
Pakistan has a shortage of trained nurses, with one nurse for every five doctors. Lack of recognition, poor wages and working conditions have often discouraged young women from entering the field. At the Opening Ceremony, Mowlana Hazar Imam described the School's primary mission as being "to raise the standards and standing of the profession, so that it is accorded the recognition and prestige earned and deserved by the women whose working lives are dedicated to the demanding and honourable task of caring for the sick. " The "keynote to the School's philosophy" said Hazar Imam "is excellence."
Like all institutions sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation, the School of Nursing is non-communal and admission is based strictly on merit. Graduates of the three-year nursing program are expected to help staff the hospital when it opens in 1984. They will also help to meet pressing medical needs in rural areas, particularly through the Aga Khan Health Services, which operate more than 100 primary and secondary health care centers throughout Pakistan, most of them in rural and remote northern areas.
Source: The American Ismaili (July 1981)
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