On March 31st 2016, Dr. Gerd Muller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in the presence of officials from the German Embassy, the East African Community (EAC), the Tanzanian Government and the Aga Khan Development Network, inaugurated Salama House in Upanga, Dar es Salaam as the new Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM) Campus.
At the entrance of the building is a plaque which reads, “ THIS PLAQUE HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE ORDERS OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN IN RECOGNITION OF SERVICES RENDERED TO EDUCATION BY ALIJAH & MRS FAZAL JANMOHAMED VALLI”. Constructed in the 1950s, for many years the residence building was the Aga Khan Boys Hostel for upcountry students who attended the Aga Khan Boys Secondary School on UN Road, which today is a government public school called the Tambaza Secondary School.
Since 2004, AKU has educated more than 600 nurses in Tanzania and more than 2,100 across East Africa. The Aga Khan University is a not-for-profit institution that serves Tanzanians without regard to race, gender, or religion. All of its nursing students in Dar es Salaam are Tanzanian and 80 percent come from public- sector institutions. As a non-profit organization, it strives to make its programmes affordable and accessible. On average, nursing students pay just one-fifth of what it costs the University to educate them. To date, the University has invested US$ 60 million in Tanzania, with significant additional investment planned.
With funding from the German Government, AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery can offer its students better facilities utilizing modern technology to improve learning outcomes and more space to train even more nurses and midwives through continuing education courses. AKU plans to launch a post-Registered Midwife Bachelor of Science in Midwifery and a Master of Science in Nursing to join the existing post-Registered Nurse Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
In Tanzania, AKU trains educators, specialist doctors, nurses and midwives. AKU has educated more than 600 nurses, including 311 who hold a Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing; relatively few Tanzanians hold a degree that prepares graduates for leadership. Its alumni include the country’s top nursing officials – the Director of the Division of Nursing and Midwifery Services in the Ministry of Health – and the Chair of the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council.