02 December, 2006
News Article

Soomro hails AKUH contribution towards medical education, health care

KARACHI, Dec. 2 (APP): Chairman Senate, Mohammedmian Soomro has praised the Aga Khan University Hospital for its contribution towards qualitative health sciences education, teaching education, research and in the delivery of health care.

“This familiar landmark is no longer the exclusive preserve of Karachi or of Pakistan as other countries are also now benefitting from AKU, a national university with internnational outreach”.

He was speaking as chief guest at the 49th Convocation of the Aga Khan University here Saturday.

Besides him, Chancellor AKU, Prince Karim Aga Khan and President Aga Khan University, Firoz Rasul, also adddressed the convocation at which 273 passing out students were conferred degrees and diplomas.

These included six in Master Science in Nursing, 63 Bechelor of Science in Nursing and 775 Diploma in General Nursing, 7 Master in Epifdemiology and Biostatistics, 8 Master in Health Policy and Management and 81 in MBBS besides 33 Master in Education.

Mr Soomro emphasised that Human resource development needs to be continuously focussed upon with fast advancements taking place in all the relevant fields and to bring in talent of very high standards to compete with global challenges.

He called for fast communication, clear thoughts, dedication, hard work and commitment at AKU for improving the quality of life.

He told the passing out students that the road ahead will be full of challenges for them.

Mohammedmian Soomro said that when Aga Khan envisaged the setting up of this institution, everybody had the expectation of having an institution with highest standard of learning and these expectations were fully met with which is reflective from global recognition which AKU had and which only few had such distinctions.

Chairman Senate highlighted the importance of research and said it is all the more important in healthcare, medicare, health sciences and hoped that Aga Khan University will fulfil this need.

He said Pakistan looks forward to the university’s further growth and expansion.

Earlier in his address, Prince Karim Aga Khan emphasised the need for developing an effective knowledge society and said that quest for a better life, among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must lead inevitably to such society which is developing in our time.

He said the great and central question facing the Ummah today is how it will relate to the Knowledge Society of tomorrow.

“One answer which can be shared across the whole of the Ummah is that we must become full and even leading participants in the Knowledge Society of 21sy Century”, Aga Khan said and added that will mean embracing the values of collaboration and coordination, openness and partnership, choice and diversity - which will under-gird the Knowledge Society, learning constantly to review and revise and renew what we thing, we know.

Elaborating further, Prince Karim Aga Khan said the spirit of the Knowledge Society is the spirit of pluralism - a readiness to accep the other, indeed to learn from him, to see difference as an opportunity rather than a threat.

“Such a spirit must be rooted in a sense of humility before the Divine, realizing that none of us have all the answers, and respecting the broad variety of God’s creation and the diversity of Human Family.

Aga Khan pointed out that as the Ummah moves into the Knowledge Society, a variety of questions and choices will arise. And this brings us back to where we started.

For my singular goal for the Aga Khan University, the University of Central Asia, and related institutions is that they should play a central role in addressing those questions and in guiding those choices, he added.

In his address, Firoz Rasul, the second President of the Aga Khan University Hospital, who replaced the first President Shams Kassem Lakha, expressed profound gratitude to Chancellor Prince Karim Aga Khan for the opportunity to serve AKU.

“I am awed by the vision of this University and at the same time inspired by the ambitious goal to create an international institution, unique in its approach and dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life of peoples of the Muslim and developing worlds”, he remarked.

He recalled the history of AKU and said we started out some 25 years ago as a small institution with large aspirations. In our first quarter century, which is a very shhort time in the life of a university, we have established internationally recognized programmes in health sciences and education as well as an internationally accredited teaching hospital that has earned the reputation of being among the best not only in Pakistan but also in the region.

Congratulating the passing out students on their achievements, Firoz Rasul told them that all that they learnt at AKU will serve them well to deal with new challenges and opportunities.

“But most significantly, I hope, your education has enabled you to become a ‘citizen of the world’. And by that I meann the ability to understand and value perspectives other than your own” On the occasion Chairman Senate Mohammedmian Soomro preented Academic Awards for graduating classes to Dr Reehana Abdussalam and Dr Omer Aftab Choudhry.

The Distinguished University Award was won by Dr Mohammed Pevrez Iqbal for Exellence in Education, by Dr Rabia Hussian for Research and bt Dr Bow Limbrad for title of Professor Emeritus.

Earlier in an investiture ceremony on the occasion, Prince Karim Aga Khan presented the seal (Medallian) of the University on AKU’s Second President Firoz Rasul as a symbol of Presidential Authority and Trust.

Chairman Board of Trustees, Ambassador Saeedullah Dehlavi was also present on the occasion.

The Convocation was attended, for sometime, by Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim.

Former President AKU Shams Kassem Lakha and former Chairman Board of Trustees, Sahibzada Yakub Khan were also present, among others.


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