The Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM) has awarded country’s first ever PhD degree in nursing.
Khairulnissa Ajani has been awarded Pakistan’s first-ever doctorate degree in nursing. Beside her PhD, Ajani conducted original research into hypertension or high blood pressure, a condition that affects one in three adults in Pakistan.
Moreover, her study developed an intervention to evaluate how well behavior-change strategies could help patients better manage their health. Ajani’s research found low levels of physical activity and poor adherence to a hypertension-friendly diet among people with high blood pressure.
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Interestingly, women, in particular, found out to be focusing more on their family’s wellbeing while neglecting their own. Her study also highlights the importance of family support in encouraging a patient to keep their health maintained.
“Developing family support is key to enhancing the health of patients,” Ajani said. “Healthcare providers have to develop practices that raise awareness about hypertension among both the patient and their families.”
SONAM is the first nursing institution in the country to launch bachelor, master, and PhD qualifications in nursing which have opened up research, academic and teaching careers in the profession.
“Completing a doctorate is a personal milestone and a reward for years of hard work spent on making a substantial contribution to one’s field,” said SONAM’s Dean Professor Rozina Karamaliani.
“We are all so proud of Ajani whose personal journey from a practicing nurse to a scholar in her field corresponds with the progress that the profession has made as a whole in Pakistan.”
“It is the university chancellor’s vision that nursing in Pakistan can only be improved when nursing professionals can undertake and contribute to locally relevant, evidence-based research for Pakistan through their master’s and PhD studies. This will lead to better healthcare outcomes for the country which can potentially transform the health of our population.”