The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Aga Khan University (AKU) announced a new collaboration to conduct a clinical trial of heterologous – or ‘mix-and-match’ – combinations of Covid-19 vaccines in Pakistan. CEPI will provide funding for the project to an international consortium led by AKU, comprising the National Institute of Health in Pakistan (NIH), University of Oxford, the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Harvard Medical School. "We are delighted to begin working with Dr. Qamar of the Aga Khan University, and the National Institute of Health in CEPI’s first partnership in Pakistan, in conjunction with our established partners at IVI and the University of Oxford," said Dr. Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer of CEPI. Data on mix-and-match combinations of these vaccines, which are commonly used in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), are urgently needed to contribute to the design of more flexible vaccination strategies.
The Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan held the ground-breaking ceremonies for the expansion of the Aga Khan Medical Centre in Gilgit and the construction of a new Aga Khan Health Centre in Hunza. The state-of-the-art healthcare facilities promise continuity of quality health care services to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and complement the Government’s efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals in health. Syed Amjad Ali Zaidi, Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, who was the Chief Guest at the groundbreaking of the Aga Khan Health Centre, Aliabad, acknowledged the government of Gilgit-Balitstan’s partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network for bringing medical excellence in the region. He said, “Not only will people of Hunza and its surrounding benefit from this health Centre, but it will be beneficial to the entire region of Gilgit-Baltistan.”
Conservation of Subz Burj, one of the unique double-domed architectural gems in the national Delhi, India, has been completed after three years of concentrated efforts carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). Sandstone lattice screens (Jaalis) have been restored at arched doorways, where iron frames were installed. Rare gold and lapis lazuli paintings and plaster patterns on the ceiling have also been exposed after a careful cleaning process carried out under the watchful supervision of the experts. “Its architecture features such as incredible artwork, tiles, and jaalis, especially the painting on its ceiling makes it rare. The opulent gold artwork and proximity to the shrine of the 13th century Sufi-Saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya suggest that the sepulchre must have been of a powerful and close noble of the ruler,” said Ratish Nanda, chief executive officer of AKTC.
Jellicoe Gardens, the latest creation by award-winning landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, is now open in Kings Cross, London. The gardens are inspired by the great garden of Bagh-e Fin, in Kashan, Iran with sunlight, shade, shadows and water coming together to create a place of calm, comfort and quiet reflection. Tom notes “it’s such an interesting project. For a start we had two clients, both with a lot of experience of making public spaces. One, the Aga Khan Development Network wanting something very specific, while the other, Argent, wanting something more general.” Hanif Kara, representing the Aga Khan Development Network comments: “Through these green spaces – six in the Aga Khan Centre, two in nearby Victoria Hall, the fountains in Lewis Cubitt Square, and now Jellicoe Gardens – visitors to King’s Cross can gain new insights about the diversity of Islamic landscape design originating from different geographic regions and see their contributions to garden design around the world.”
During the first week of COP26, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) joined the Governments of Tajikistan and Switzerland to discuss and align approaches that are building climate change resilience in the Pamir highlands, where mountain communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming. AKAH is part of the official Tajik delegation to COP26 together with the Committee for Environmental Protection, Agency for Meteorology, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, and other relevant agencies. AKAH Tajikistan CEO Mr. Hadi Husani said: “Tajikistan is among the states that have consistently pursued a strategy to reduce carbon emissions voluntarily and is interested in the world's best green practices, applying cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and socially inclusive technologies and solutions. AKAH, together with other international partners, will continue to help Tajikistan promote international environmental dialogue, exchange of information and knowledge to support science-based and climate-resilient decision-making.”