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AKUH launches early childhood parenting clinic to build stronger families


Recognising the importance of supporting parents in their early parenting journey, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) launched on Friday its “Early Childhood Parenting Clinic” at the Stadium Road campus.

As one of the few initiatives in Pakistan to offer this educational care giving from a hospital setting, this clinic will focus on making parents resourceful to make their child’s early development well-rounded and strong, said a statement issued by the AKUH.

According to research, the first 1,000 days of life, starting from the day of inception inside the mother’s womb, make up the most crucial period of human development. Parents often question and worry if they are doing all that they can to support their child’s development.

While there may not be a one-size-fits-all strategy, there are evidence-based tools that parents may be equipped with, as they set on their journey. At this clinic, as a parent, you will become more aware of your child’s developmental needs and be provided support to deal with your concerns, including but not limited to what to do for in-utero development, first-time parent counselling, early challenges of parenting, newborn’s learning and development, making your home new-born friendly, preparing kids for playgroup and school, and balancing the needs of your child as working parents.

Adhering to strict SOPs, the attendees of the inauguration ceremony included the leadership of the AKU and the AKUH: Shagufta Hassan, interim CEO, AKUH; Dr Adil Haider, dean AKU Medical College; Dr Asim Belgaumi, chief medical officer; Salma Jaffer, chief nursing officer; Shamsah Virani, director marketing and communications; Dr Salman Kirmani, chair, Division of Women and Child Health; Dr Lumaan Sheikh, Service Line chief, Women’s Health Care; Dr Ali Faisal Saleem, Service Line chief, Children’s Hospital; and Dr Shelina Bhamani, lead consultant, Early Childhood Parenting Clinic.

“This is a very critical goal and on the radar of the AKDN. As a mother of two, I believe that this service is so valuable and helpful for all parents,” commented Interim CEO Hassan while stressing the need for supporting parents in their journey.

“I have worked for years with mothers of newborns and young children in various community settings. I hear them question very often, ‘am I a good parent?’ I always tell them that ‘good parenting’ is hard to define. However, it can be learnt and adapted to,” said Dr Bhamani on parents’ confusion about their parenthood.

The Early Childhood Parenting Clinic will provide a wide range of integrative programmes, including group-based consultations and one-to-one referrals for innovative parenting solutions.




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