It was such a kind gesture of Dr.Sujoy Bhattacharjee to have offered free consultation, for four consecutive days, to more than 300 patients in Khartoum. This is how the International Orthopedic Surgeon from India spent his Christmas in Sudan.
Dr.Sujoy went to South Pont School in Kolkata, graduated in Medicine from Silchar Medical College, and did his Master’s in Surgery from Gwalior Medical College and then specialized in Joint Replacement Surgery in Ohio, USA; Germany and Australia. Presently he is attached to a couple of hospitals in New Delhi and Erbil, Iraq.
In these four days from 24th to 27th December he examined more than 300 patients from 9am to 5pm without any break. The patients ranged from Pediatrics to Geriatrics. Disorders ranged from fracture related overlapping bones to knees needing replacement.
Among these patients was Khalid Eiman, 3 years, who had Congenital Talipes Equino Varvs (CTEV) a congenital deformity of the foot when the child walks on the outer side of the soul and toes also known as Cub feet. Dr.Sujoy had operated on Khalid in India and wanted to remove the JESS fixation in Khartoum. It will not be out of place to mention that JESS technique (Joshi External Stabilising System -JESS) is a pride of India invented by the visionary hand surgeon Dr.B.B.Joshi. His generosity is exemplified by the fact that he chose not to patent the JESS fixator, so that it could be made available to a larger section of the medical fraternity and it can be kept affordable for the masses.
I noticed that whenever the child Khalid saw Dr.Sujoy he started to cry. Dr.Sujoy insisted on general anaesthesia to remove the fixator, but due to unknown reasons the Anesthetist did not turn up which left the mother in tears because Khalid’s fixator could not be removed. Dr.Sujoy left for India the same night.
I had the pleasure of showing Dr.Sujoy the confluence of the two Niles – Blue and White.
The most popular sport in Sudan is Football. Sudan has a rich football history in Africa and has been champion of Africa Cup of Nations in 1970. The two biggest football teams are Al-Merrikh and Al-Hilal. This reminds me of arch rivals Mohan Bagan and East Bengal both from Kolkata back home in India.
In Sudan one of your identities are either you are a supporter of Hilal or Merrikh. I am a fan of Merrikh mainly because the jersey colours are same as my favourite East Bengal. I have watched Merrikh play Hilal twice in Omdurman stadium. Dr. Omer Mohamed Khalid a famous Chest Physician in Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, is a staunch supporter of Merrikh. He once met the President of Sudan, Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir. He knew that the President is a supporter of Al-Hilal. Dr.Omer asked him why he was wearing blue in support of Hilal. He said “You are the President and you should be neutral”. The President replied to him saying that once Merrikh becomes a champion the blue he is wearing will change to orange. This never happened even though Merrikh has become the champion club of Sudan.
Dr. Omer Mohamed Khalid is also a poet. He wraps up his regular health shows in popular Blue Nile TV with his own poem. He is a celebrity thus I deserve a picture with the tall personality.
Sudanese Indian Friendship Association ( SIFA ) is made up of Sudanese people who graduated from Indian Universities. Whether it is from Madras, Pune, Nagpur, Baroda, Jabalpur or Hyderabad all the Sudanese Alumni from any of these Universities are members of SIFA. On Saturday 13th December an election was held to elect the new President of SIFA under the guidance of Council for International Peoples Friendship. There were 350 members present. Moulana Abdel Bashit Abdel Majid former Education and Tourism Minister of Sudan represented the Council and set the guidelines. He insisted that the members of SIFA should be comprised of 70% Sudanese and rest 30% by Indians.
Ambassador of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma was present and addressed the large gathering of Sudanese people who have been educated in India. His Excellency shared that every year 250 scholarships were awarded to Sudanese students to study in Indian Universities. Moreover 2500 students went to India every year under self- financing programs. The Ambassador was pleased to announce that Nuclear Medicine will be a new subject offered to Sudan. He added that SIFA has played a positive role in increasing trade relations between the two countries which was 1.3 billion US$ and is slated at 1.7billion US$ at the end of this year’s financial year ending in March’15. While he said that the Embassy of India represents the Government of India he also added that the Mission was for the people both Indian and Sudanese.
The outgoing President of SIFA Yousrie Burai thanked everyone for their cooperation and support and the newly elected President Mohyeldin Mohyeldin Abdeltam promised to do his best in creating a favourable atmosphere in all fields between India and Sudan. A successful businessman Mohyeldin formed a core committee of 20 members. Dr.Anil Mithani President of the Omdurman Indian Community is also in this core committee of SIFA.
As Pharmaceutical Marketing Professionals we serve the Medical Fraternity with our offerings. We do care for the patients for they are our end users or consumers. Some companies have organized system of keeping track of their patients in a Direct To Consumer (DTC) communication.
I recently had a new kind of encounter with a patient. A leading Dermatologist requested me to take pictures of his patient for a ‘Before and After ’ effect. The patient is suffering from Psoriasis.
I was wondering that this patient would have to live with this chronic skin condition for life. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and cannot be cured. It can be managed by slowing the process and keeping it under control. Psoriasis develops when the patient’s immune system sends wrong signals which tells the skin cells to grow very fast. But Psoriasis is not contagious-it does not spread by contact. I pray for the patient and hope that next time when I am called to take pictures after few months of treatment I find him well recovered.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Government of India company is categorized as ‘Maharatna’ company which means it belongs to the top jewel group of public sector enterprises. BHEL is entrusted as the EPC (Engineering-Procurement-Construction) contractor by the Ministry of Electricity, Government of Sudan to execute the 4X125MW Power Project at Kosti, Sudan named as Um Dabakir Power Station. This contract was signed by Eng. Makkawi Mohamed Awad the then Managing Director of NEC who is presently the Minister of Petroleum, Government of Sudan. The Consultant retained by the Sudanese Government for this project is Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG of Stuttgart, Germany. This was reported as the single largest export order secured by BHEL worth 457.5 million USD for setting up a 4x125MW (500MW) Crude Oil fired thermal power plant in Sudan. Government of India had extended a concessional line of credit of 350 million USD through EXIM Bank of India.
The BHEL project near Rabak at White Nile State is centrally located 320 km south of Khartoum with the White Nile flowing nearby. Mr. Rana Basu General Manager of BHEL, who has been at the helm of affairs since the inception of the project, has undertaken a herculean task in coordinating Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC). This plant is a strategic project designed to supply power to Southern Sudan, Darfur and Khartoum ring. The crude oil was supposed to come from South Sudan, in turn to fire the boilers at the power plant. The main setback of supply of fuel happened ever since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011.There were delays in transportation of materials manufactured by BHEL in India to Kosti. BHEL has appointed Indian contractors for the construction of the Kosti plant. Till few months back there were almost 2000 Indian personnel including workers engaged at the site. Today the number has reduced to 1000. Mr. Rana Basu along with their Site Manager Mr. Asim Sur take pride in saying that today three of the four units have been commissioned with relentless and sleepless hard working days and nights by BHEL construction team of 45 Engineers and they will be ready with the fourth unit for completion of the project by March 2015.
This writer recently visited the plant and was astonished with the mighty plant as you can see in these pictures. A matter of pride for every Indian is that the huge plant is designed in India and made of materials and equipment manufactured by BHEL in India. In other words, every piece of steel in this gigantic plant is Indian.
The raw water intake channel constructed by BHEL at the White Nile is very picturesque especially at sunset. It is an 800 meters long & 12 meters deep channel built to feed water from White Nile for the Power Plant. The water reservoir has a capacity of 90000 tons. This water is treated and demineralized so that it does not damage the turbines. This treated water is pumped into the boilers to generate steam and activate the turbines. There are four massive turbines each capable of generating 125 MegaWatts of electricity. Amazingly, all the activities, pathways and dynamics of each unit are controlled centrally in a control room by the click of a mouse. This speaks of the state of art technology in this project.