The Aga Khan Hospital Dar es Salaam (AKH,D) performed its first Cochlear Implant Surgery on Monday 24 January. Young Danial, a three year old boy has not heard sound all his life, making this a life-changing opportunity for the young boy and his parents. “We are very excited to begin performing this procedure here at AKH,D. The availability of this procedure locally means that patients will not have to travel abroad for this service,” said Mr. Sisawo Konteh, Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital. In addition to this procedure, the Aga Khan Hospital has also been piloting a newborn hearing screening programme since 2018. This involves the use of a quick and simple test to screen babies for hearing loss, usually performed very shortly after birth.
Pakistan's President Dr Arif Alvi has stressed the need for technological expertise in the healthcare system, saying that the country’s healthcare system must focus on the preventive side of illness rather than the curative. He made these remarks at a meeting of the senior leadership of the Aga Khan University (AKU) at the AKU’s Centre for Innovation in Medical Education over the weekend. During the meeting, he encouraged the AKU’s faculty and doctors to form a group of visionary thinkers to enhance the healthcare system. The president was earlier briefed on the AKU’s social impact as a national asset by providing services in basic education, outreach health services, examination system and research. Dr Alvi acknowledged the AKU’s services as an icon for Pakistan’s leading hospitals.
Last month, Expo 2020 Dubai staged its flagship education event, the RewirEd Summit, hosted by Dubai Cares and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. One event was hosted by Save the Children, the Aga Khan Foundation and PLAN, and highlighted Transforming Refugee Education towards Excellence (TREE), a systems-wide teacher training programme by Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) and Save the Children. The event focused on using compassion to help teachers overcome trauma and deliver effective teaching. TREE is being piloted in Jordan, with support from the Jordanian Ministry of Education, Dubai Cares, Hikma, and Community Jameel, and will focus on supporting Jordanian teachers, students, and Syrian refugee children.
On 4 February, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will launch a new three-year campaign for World Cancer Day that brings together individuals, organisations and governments around the world in an effort to create awareness and help close the gap in cancer care. The campaign highlights the significant barriers related to socioeconomic factors, stigma and discrimination that prevent many people around the world from accessing life-saving preventive services, diagnostics, treatment and care. Dr Miriam Mutebi, Member of the Board, Union for International Cancer Control and Consultant Breast Surgical Oncologist, Clinical epidemiologist and health systems researcher, Aga Khan University Hospital, Kenya commented that “The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened health inequities and created an even greater need for action to mitigate the adverse impact on cancer incidence and survival. Understanding and addressing the social determinants of health and their impact on cancer can considerably improve outcomes for at-risk populations, particularly for cancers that can be more easily detected and treated such as cervical, breast, colorectal and childhood cancers.”
A senior cardiac and thoracic surgeon and his team at the Aga Khan University (AKU) have invented a heart simulator which may go a long way in teaching resident doctors open-heart surgery and other related operations in much better conditions. Dr Saulat Fatmi said that the simulators currently in the market were artificial hearts or hearts which used pneumatic pumps to simulate beating. None could mimic the true heart mechanism and there was no fluid inside the heart to mimic blood. However, after years of failed and tiring attempts, “we are able to invent a beating heart system with magnetic pumps, fluid reservoir and timing device to produce systole and diastole in a cow’s heart”. Dr Fatmi said it had been patented in the United States and the AKU were now ready to modify this to market it on a commercial basis.