Published On: Sat, May 1st, 2021
Published in Category: Karachi

Pakistan awards first PhD in nursing

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KARACHI: Pakistan’s first-ever doctorate degree in nursing has been awarded by the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), to Khairulnissa Ajani.

As part of her PhD, Ajani conducted original research into hypertension or high blood pressure – a condition that affects one in three adults in Pakistan. Her study developed an intervention to evaluate how well behaviour-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.

Interestingly, women, in particular, tended to focus more on their family’s wellbeing while neglecting their own.

Her study also emphasises the importance of family support in encouraging a patient to take care of their health.

“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.”

The study also found that nurses can play a key role in developing a positive relationship with patients which can help promote a deeper understanding of the need for self-care. It also highlighted the need for professionals to move away from traditional health education strategies designed for the public towards more personalized healthcare regimes.

SONAM is the first nursing institution in Pakistan to launch bachelor, master, and PhD qualifications in nursing which have opened up research, academic and teaching careers in the profession.