KARACHI– The Aga Khan University (AKU) recently celebrated the opening of a new ‘Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health’ (CoEWCH) building in their campus situated at Stadium Road, Karachi.
Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director CoEWCH and Co-Director of SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, Toronto, revealed that this centre is the first of its kind in low and middle income countries, that will help in enhancing University’s studies bases on the social determinants shaping the well-being of women and children, alongside highlighting the underlying condition in which they are born, raised and spend their lives.
CoEWCH will strengthen the University’s research and policy advocacy efforts, that aim to generate new insights into Pakistan’s interconnected health challenges, in support of national development priorities for women and child health.
It brings together experts from numerous fields of medicine, public health, liberal arts, nursing and education, providing training opportunities on priority issues related to women and children.
Furthermore, Prof. Bhutta stated that; “Pakistan may have missed the Millennium Development Goals and targets for maternal and child health. However, the Sustainable Development Goals offer a huge opportunity for value added work across disciplinary boundaries.CoEWCH will continue to work in a concerted manner to help women and children in Pakistan and other developing countries live healthy and meaningful lives.”
This new 149,000 sq.ft facility will be based over 3 floors, housing three state-of-the-art laboratories for microbiology, epidemiology and nutrition; a research data management unit, faculty offices and dedicated spaces to build the capacity of young researchers in the field. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a key partner of the CoEWCH.
Esteemed Speakers present at the event mentioned that the CoEWCH will focus on priority topics of concern affecting Pakistan’s development such as malnutrition, gender inequality and insecurity of country’s health; followed by the most worthwhile intervention, that is enhancing the well-being of our increasing population.
Other Speakers at the event included AKU President Firoz Rasul and Sadruddin Hashwani of Hashoo Foundation, who donated to this new facility.