“The Government of Kenya is well aware of the commitment His Highness the Aga Khan has made towards the advancement of quality health care in East Africa – a commitment made over 100 years ago that continues today.
… That you are also celebrating the first 15 years of the Aga Khan University in East Africa is equally important – 15 years is a short period of time for a university to have the kind of impact you display, and for that, I commend you.”
– Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, Kenya Ministry of Health
Coastweek– The Aga Khan University (AKU), the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust (Trust) and over 200 local and international health professionals kicked off a three-day conference focused on delivering quality health care in East Africa.
The conference, held at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel, also celebrated the University’s 15 years in East Africa, and the 15-year partnership between AKU, AKDN and the Trust to enhance nursing education.
The conference addresses the need for systematic approaches to quality improvement across health care systems – from research to education, from community-based care to hospitals – and the impact that focusing on health systems and quality can have on achieving the targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, Principle Secretary of the Kenya Ministry of Health and Chief Guest at the conference launch, commended AKU and the AKDN for the immense contribution they have made to health, education and civil society institutions in East Africa. He urged them and their partners to continue collaborating with public health systems to achieve health for all.
Noting the importance of partnerships, Mr. Al-Karim Haji, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AKU, thanked the Trust for co-sponsoring the conference and for its enduring support of the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in East Africa.
“For the last 15 years, the Trust has supported AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in East Africa.
Almost 90 percent of our more than 2,100 nursing graduates have received support from the Trust, and more than 100 of them hold leadership positions in East Africa.
… The Aga Khan University Hospital is also planning to construct a Children’s Hospital within the main hospital that will provide high quality specialty paediatrics care together with specialty medical and nursing training programmes in child health.”
– Al-Karim Haji, AKU
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Haji noted that together with Global Affairs Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), AKU and the Aga Khan Health Services will be working with nearly 100 government health facilities to improve care for over 600,000 mothers and children in Kilifi and Kisii in Kenya and Mwanza in Tanzania.
“Through the University’s Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health in East Africa, AKU will be conducting implementation research that bridges the gap between academia, service providers and policymakers, and contributes to achieving the SDGs,” Mr. Haji added.
The partnership between the Trust and AKU can be seen in the impact it has had on clinical care, leadership, nursing education and the overall health system, as well as in the recognition its alumni have received wherever they have gone.
“We first came together in 2001, with the first nursing scholarships in East Africa.
Investing in the education and training of nurses and midwives means that better health care can be provided to more people and local health care systems can become stronger.
Since then, over 2,000 nurses have graduated from the AKU and 90 percent remain in the region, with many in leadership positions, helping to empower others and transform health systems.
We are also committed to supporting and championing the people on the front lines who are at the heart of delivering care, and we are delighted to be co-hosting this conference with AKU to make a long-lasting impact on human health in line with the Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact mission.”
– Frank Welvaert, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust
The conference is the first in a series of annual conferences on strengthening health systems in East Africa that AKU will organise.
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Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali