<div>Recognising the importance of supporting parents in their early parenting journey, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) launched its Early Childhood Parenting Clinic on Friday, 6 November 2020 at the Stadium Road campus. As one of the few initiatives in Pakistan to offer this educational caregiving from a hospital setting, this clinic will focus on making parents resourceful to make their child’s early development well-rounded and strong.</div><div>
</div><div>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 with 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, , , new-born’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. </div><div>
</div><div>Adhering to strict SOPs, the attendees of the inauguration ceremony included the leadership of AKU and 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, Chair Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Service Line Chief Women’s Health, Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem, Service Line Chief, Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Shelina Bhamani, Lead Consultant, Early Childhood Parenting Clinic, among others. </div><div>
</div><div>“This is a very critical goal and on the radar of 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 upon the need of supporting parents in their journey. </div><div>
</div><div>“I have worked for years with mothers of new-borns 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. </div><div>
</div><div>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.