“Nurses have a vital role to play in older people’s care. We are at the front of the service – we see, we hear, we do. But are we prepared, are we supported, and are there enough of us to cope with these challenges?” – Samina Vertejee
Samina Vertejee is an Assistant Professor at Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKUSONAM). Recognizing the gap in knowledge needed to properly care for Pakistan’s aging population, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic due to their unique vulnerabilities, Ms. Vertejee has taken up the challenge at the policy level to improve the welfare of the country’s growing number of older people. In addition to her academic tasks, she has been closely engaged with government organizations, NGOs and community organizations to optimize resource relocation, caregivers’ capacity building and improved living conditions for older people. Alongside other key stakeholders, her contributions led to the adoption of the Senior Citizens Welfare Act in 2014. She is now engaged in ensuring the implementation of this policy in order to bring about societal changes for the welfare of older people. She has provided broadcast interviews to raise awareness on several related topics, including the sensitization of the community on the implementation of senior citizen welfare policy. After she and other actors noted that the 2014 Act was not being fully implemented, the Sind High court sent an order for implementation to all relevant bodies. Samina has also worked on caregivers’ capacity building for improved elderly health outcomes in communities or in hospitals. She has also provided a number of training sessions for caregivers at all levels.
“Let older people feel that they are in the epitome of life. It’s time to cherish the life’s accomplishments” – Samina Vertejee