Monthly Archives: March 2014

First Asian Festival in Khartoum

First Asian Festival in Khartoum

Asia, the world’s largest and most populous continent had for the first time a cultural festival in Khartoum,Sudan It was co-hosted by the Embassies of the Asian countries in Khartoum namely China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan. The food and handicraft bazaar along with the cultural show was held on Friday, 28th March’14 from 5pm till 10pm at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Holiday Villa Hotel. More than 1800 visitors turned up from both Sudanese and Asian families. The food stalls had to replenish stocks of their delicious Asian cuisine and the handicraft bazaar was always crowded. The dances and musical performances of each of the above countries kept the audience entertained. A Sudanese member from the audience remarked that she liked the glamorous dresses worn by the dancers of China and Japan; tapped her toes with the fast ‘Bolywood’ song to which a small Indian girl danced and found the musical instruments Guzheng of China and Angklung of Indonesia very intriguing. She also got her Arabic name written in the Japanese script and last but not least she won a prize in the hourly Lucky Draw. I had posted photographs of the performances of various nations in my Facebook. I have selected this picture of the Chinese dance only because it received the maximum ‘likes’. Jai Hind !

Sheikh Abdurahim Al-Bura’i

Sheikh Abdurahim Al-Bura’i

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Thanks and congratulations to my colleague Dr. Al Mudather Abulgasim. He invited me to the prize giving ceremony at Friendship Hall,Khartoum.He won a prize for his poetry.I also got to witness a wonderful opera performed by local artists. The opera was a tribute to the Sheikhs of Sudan particularly a homage to Sheikh Abdurahim Al-Bura’i.Here are some pictures of the event

Women in Sudan

Women in Sudan

All around the world there are courageous and creative women working for peace, social justice and a secured future. There is a global network named Peace Women across the Globe. The initiative comprises 1000 women who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Sixteen women from this list are from Sudan.
Women in Sudan have always been very active and courageous compared to other Arab countries. Sudanese women form a major part of the working people in all sectors. One can see women driving cars in Sudan.
I recently attended a doctors’ conference and found that more than 60% of the attendees were women. Later I read the GMS column by A.S.Akoronki and was confirmed that the general ratio in higher education is 67% for females and 33% for males. On Women’s day a few women dedicated the special day to the ‘Ubiquitous Tea Women’ in Khartoum by playing their role. This was to show respect to their job and effort to earn money for their children and family.
A few local singers have composed new songs to commemorate Mother’s Day. Many of my Sudanese friends posted their picture with their mother in social media.
One of the heroes of Sudan is Fatima Ahmed Mohamed Ibrahim. She has written four books. ‘Our War to Freedom’; ‘Our Harvest in Twenty Years’; ‘Arabs Women and Social Changes’ and the fourth book written in English is titled ‘An Outcry’.

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2nd International Urologists Conference in Khartoum

2nd International Urologists Conference in Khartoum

Sudan has high incidence of patients with kidney stones. It is relevant to know who treats a patient with kidney stones- is he or she an Urologist or a Nephrologist? A Nephrologist is a physician who has been trained in the treatment and management of kidney disorders. A Nephrologist is not a surgeon and will treat kidney disorders by non-surgical methods, such as, regulating blood pressure, regulating electrolytes, balancing fluids in the body, and administering medicines and dialysis.
Urology, on the other hand, is a medical and surgical specialty that focuses on the urinary tract. Urologists are surgeons who are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with urological disorders. Their areas of specialty are the male and female urinary tracts, which include the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra. They also treat the male reproductive system.
The Urologists treat kidney stones, prostrate and bladder problems. But when it comes to kidney transplants it is teamwork between a Nephrologist and an Urologist. Similarly, female lower urological problems like incontinence, overactive bladder and painful bladder conditions overlap between the domains of Gynaecologists and Urologists. Thus the pre-conference workshops of the 2nd International Conference of Sudanese Urological Association was held in collaboration with Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists-Sudan Liaison Group and many Nephrologists including Prof.Omer Aboud attended the Urologists Conference held at Corinthia hotel, Khartoum from 7th to 9th March’14.
Dr.Nasr Abdelmageed Ramadan – President of Sudanese Urological Association was very pleased with the attendance at the international conference and the participation of 15 foreign speakers. The topics discussed ranged from new methods of kidney stone management to treatment of prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
Dr.Anil Mithani Consultant Urologist at Omdurman Teaching Hospital and Treasurer of the Urological Association seemed happy in company of three visiting Indian Urologists attending the conference. Dr.Janak Desai from Ahmedabad, India stayed back in Khartoum to perform a few difficult surgeries at the Military Hospital. Dr.Desai has patented a unique method of key hole surgery for kidney stone removal with a telescope of the size of a ball pen refill and breaks the stone by Laser. The device is called UMP (Ultra-mini percutaneous nephrolithotomy) and is a revolutionary new system which requires no stitch and the patient is back in action within 24 hours.

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Cutest Greek Couple in Sudan

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The loving old couple you see in this picture is Terry Gabrialidis,75 and his wife Helen. Terry’s father Panayioti was born in Greece in 1908. As a youngster he ventured out of Greece and came to Alexandria in Egypt and then to Khartoum, Sudan. He was one of the pioneers of Lemonade in Sudan. Terry was born in Khartoum. He graduated from Comboni College and started importing automotive spare parts. The popular Greek snack bar named Pitta came to him by default from a fellow Greek who went back to his country. This was thirty years ago when around 7000 Greeks lived in this country. Today there are only 150 of them. They have a church, a school and a club for their community. I enjoy the Koftas in Greek Pitta near Marwa Bookshop off Ghamoria street in downtown Khartoum.

Meeting of the African Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Khartoum

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19 members of the African Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists  (AFOG) got together at the Police Club in Khartoum on Friday 21st February’14. This meeting was hosted by the General Secretary of AFOG, a son of the soil, Dr.Amir Elnahas. The countries present at this meeting were Benin, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunis, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The meeting was presided by present President of AFOG Dr.Yirgu Gebrehiwot from neighbouring Ethiopia. President Elect  Prof. Oladapo Ladipo from Nigeria was also present.

  The Aims of the federation is to promote women’s health in general, and to promote maternal and new born health in particular, in Africa. It is also to improve the practice of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists in African continent and to promote member associations at a national level.

It also aims to collaborate with regional federations and the International Federation of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists for the promotion of women’s health globally.

Most of the discussions dwelt on the key facts of maternal mortality and the road map to tackle them.

Sub-Saharan Africa has on the average, the worst health outcomes in the world. The region has 12% of the world’s population, yet bears 26% of the global disease burden.

Every day about 800 women die globally from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

The cumulative lifetime risk of maternal deaths is as high as 1 in 16 pregnancies in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 1 in 2800 in most developed countries.

A woman in Africa has one-in-39 lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy and delivery related complications compared to 1 in 4000 in developed countries.

A lot needs to be done by AFOG and the members of this professional non-profit organization is a dedicated team.

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Primary Medical Care was the theme of the Physicians Conference

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It was the 27th Scientific Conference of Sudan Association of Physicians held at Friendship Hall, Khartoum from 21st to 23rd February’14. Prof. Siddig Ibrahim Khalil the President of the largest doctors association in Sudan said that in this conference there were speakers on wide range of medical conditions and topics from primary and ambulatory care, cardiology, infectious diseases, neurology, diabetes, dementia, health diplomacy and telemedicine. Prof.Siddig added that there is an increasing trend of coronary artery diseases, predominantly in the town dwellers of Sudan . He advised the people to stop smoking, do some regular physical exercise and avoid fast and fatty food. He also recommended prevention of coronary artery diseases by treating diabetes, high blood pressure and by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.

Dr.Abu Bakr Bashir Mohamed the General Secretary of the association said that every year this was a nice gathering of physicians on the basis of academic interests and health issues and recommendations to policy makers to improve health services in Sudan. He said that the association is also working towards creating more awareness amongst the public in primary health care such as diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease. Presidential Assistant Prof.Ibrahim Ghandour who inaugurated the conference and spoke to the large gathering of physicians, endorsed the theme of primary care and assured the doctors to comply with the recommendations for improved primary health care in Sudan. ghandour3