The Hospital is part of the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi, Pakistan. Chartered as the country's first private international university in 1983, AKU's objective is to promote human welfare by disseminating knowledge and providing instruction, training, research and services in health sciences, education and other disciplines. AKU is a non-denominational institution open to all on merit, and admissions to its academic programmes are needs-blind. The University places special emphasis on the development of women. Through its high academic standards, programmes relevant to the needs of developing societies, its work as a dialogue partner with government on issues of health and education policy, and its delivery of critical social services, AKU has had a national impact in Pakistan.
With the launch of academic programmes in East Africa, the United Kingdom, Syria and Afghanistan, AKU has now established itself as an international institution at ten sites in seven countries. AKU's Faculty of Health Sciences, comprising a Medical College and a School of Nursing, is located on the same campus in Karachi as Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH). The Institute for Educational Development (AKUIED) is situated at another campus in Karachi, while the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) is based in London. With the development of AKU-IED and AKU-ISMC, along with the planning of a Faculty of Arts and Sciences, AKU has moved towards becoming a comprehensive university.
The Hospital and primary medical centres are part of the Aga Khan Health Services, which is one of the most comprehensive private not-for-profit health care systems in the developing world. It includes 325 health centres, dispensaries, hospitals, diagnostic centres and community health outlets. Building on the Ismaili Community's health care efforts in the first half of the 20th century, Aga Khan Hospital Services (AKHS) now provides primary health care and curative medical care in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Syria. It includes five general hospitals, seven maternity homes/hospitals and 187 health centres/dispensaries.
The first institution in the Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P) was a 42-bed maternity hospital - formerly known as the Janbai Maternity Home, which opened in Karachi in 1924. Today, while maintaining that early focus on maternal and child health, AKHS, P also offers services that range from primary health care to diagnostic services and curative care. Its 164 health centres, seven hospitals, maternity home, two medical centres, physiotherapy unit and seven community dental units reach over 581,000 people in rural and urban Sindh, Punjab and Frontier, Northern Areas and Chitral. As the largest not-for-profit private health care system in Pakistan, its goal is to supplement the Government's efforts in health care provision, especially in the areas of maternal and child health and primary health care.
Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan also operates six diagnostic centres with the consultant services and laboratory facilities in different parts of Pakistan. AKHS, P manages over 1000 employees, around 4000 dedicated volunteers, over 1500 Trained Birth Attendants (TBAs) and Community Health Workers (CHWs) working in different regions of AKHS, P.
AKHS activities are conducted in concert with other health-related activities of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The overall aim is to raise the health status of people in East Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. Emphasis, in current projects, is on strengthening health systems development.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), with branches in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, works with a variety of grantees, including AKHS, to improve the health of vulnerable population groups, especially mothers and children, and promote health services development on the national and regional levels.
AKF and AKHS have been joined in their work in health care in East Africa by the Aga Khan University's Faculty of Health Sciences, which offers accredited professional training, especially for nurses, and conducts a variety of research programmes focused on the health problems of developing nations.
The AKDN aims to assist countries in the building of effective, sustainable health systems linking different kinds of services and levels of care. For more information, please visit the akdn website.