Monthly Archives: April 2016

Safe, Effective and Quality Medicines for IGAD Population

The Federal Minister of Health of Sudan H.E. Dr. Bahar Idrees Abugarda opened the 2 day conference of IGAD member states regulatory authorities on Regional Medicine Regulatory Collaboration and Harmonization. His Excellency was the Guest of Honour at the conference on 26th April which was held at Alsalam Rotana under the auspices of the First Lady of Sudan Widad Babikir.
The Health Minister thanked IGAD for choosing Sudan as venue for the 2nd such conference. The first was held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during 3 -5 August’15. His Excellency thanked World Bank, WHO, African Union Commission (AUC), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for actively supporting the IGAD initiative.
Dr.Bahar Idrees spoke of the 3 tier health system in Sudan highlighting the achievements of National Medicine and Poisons Board (NMPB) in ensuring efficacy, safety and quality of medicines, cosmetics and medical devices in Sudan. There are issues and challenges of substandard and counterfeit medicines. Sudan has seven borders and three of them are IGAD members which can collaborate to address the cross border issues. IGAD as a regional entity has taken the initiative to ensure quality, efficacy and safety of medicines. World Bank will be financing the initiative and WHO, AUC and NEPAD will leverage their technical expertise to support IGAD. Health Minister Bahar Idriss Abu Garga hoped that IGAD sets up a Health Program Centre located in Sudan.
The overall objective of the conference is to provide access to safe, effective and quality medicine to the IGAD population, through harmonized medicine regulatory system among the member countries, and work closely for the implementation of the strategies and modalities discussed and agreed in the Addis Ababa Call for Action during the first IGAD MRH conference, and to establish the IGAD regional regulatory collaboration mechanism with the support from development partners.
The conference was attended by representatives of Ministry of Health from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and host country Sudan. The opening had the gracious presence of the Health Minister of Somalia H.E. Dr.Hawa Hassan Mohamed; IGAD Director of Economic Cooperation & Social Development Elsadig Abdalla; World Bank Representative Apollo Muhairwe; WHO Representative Dr.Naeema Elgasseera; NEPAD Representative Margaret Ndomondo-Sigonda and Health Policy Officer of AUC Dr. Janet Byaruhanga. The welcoming and introductory remarks were presented by IGAD Program Manager for Health & Social Development Fathia Alwan and Secretary General of NMPB Dr. Mohamed Elhassan.

Desi John- World’s No.1 Selling Shaving Cream?


For men shaving is a daily morning chore. I sometimes take a day off. Some say it is good for your eyes. Talking of shaving creams I remember the advertisement in which Kapil Dev used to smile and say ‘Palmolive da jabab nai’. I kept switching from Palmolive to Nivea to Old Spice. In Sudan I started using Gillette shaving cream. But since nothing is consistent in countries which are import dependent, I had to switch to Nivea at times. But this time when my tube of Nivea shaving cream refused to yield any more content, I had to buy a new shaving cream- VI–JOHN.Nothing else was available and I had to break my brand loyalty.
At first I thought the name was Six John reading VI as Roman numerical. After doing some search and research I found that VI-JOHN is our ‘Desi’ product manufactured by Maja Health Care Division in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. I want to know how many of my friends in India are using this brand. The Brand Ambassador is none other than Shahrukh Khan who says ‘VI-John Shave, Ek dum Safe’. One interesting feature in the pack is one can scan and see Shahrukh Khan’s latest video. It also reads ‘Redeem Coupon on flap inside – freejeeto get a chance to win Rs 50000. All this while shaving in Sudan? Impossible. Nothing to complain about its smooth shave though.

125th Birth Anniversary of Ambedkar celebrated in Khartoum


The Embassy of India organized an event to commemorate 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar at Hotel Grand Holiday Villa on 14th April. The Ambassador of India H.E. Amrit Lugun paid tribute to Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb, who was an Indian Jurist, economist, politician and social reformer. Babasaheb inspired the downtrodden and campaigned against the rights of women and labour. Dr. Ambedkar was the first Law Minister and the architect of the Indian Constitution. The Ambassador added that Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning a law degree and various PhD from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna was bestowed upon him posthumously in 1990. Ambassador Lugun praised the foresightedness of Babasaheb who had wanted separation of two states Madhya Pradesh and Bihar during the 50s, which turned out to be a reality decades later.
The Chief Guest at the function H.E. Maulana Ibrahim Harun, Chairman of the Civil Sector in the Ministry of Justice also spoke and extended best compliments and heartfelt wishes on the birthday of the ‘God Father’ of the Indian Constitution Dr.Ambedkar. He spoke of the strong historical ties between India and Sudan. He mentioned that India participated in the monitoring of the legislative elections in Sudan during 1953 by sending Mr. Sukumar Sen. He said India started diplomatic relations since 1955 which clearly reflects the depth of brotherly relations between the people of the two countries with similarities in culture and social traditions. He is happy that there has been a thrust in economic and political cooperation between the two countries in the last two decades. There has been official exchange of visits of State Heads. H.E. Maulana Ibrahim Harun on a personal note remembered a few Indian professors who taught him as a law student at the University of Khartoum.
Ambassador H.E. Abdulrahman Diraar, General Director of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid floral tribute to Dr.Ambedkar.
Mr.Rana Basu, Country Head of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, who have recently completed the thermal power plant in Kosti, touched upon Dr.Ambedkar’s contribution in non-conventional sectors. In his presentation he shared that Babasaheb had conceptualised the Reserve Bank of India, Finance Commission of India and established systems and various projects. Mr. Basu highlighted the fact that Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics has saluted Dr.Ambedkar as his father of Economics.
Mr. Balkrishna Hegde, Chief of Tiga Plastics, also paid his tributes to Babasaheb Ambedkar as an ardent follower of his principles and philosophy. The function was concluded by screening of Jabbar Patel’s film ‘Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’. There was a large audience comprising representatives from the Ministry of Defence, members of the Foreign Diplomatic Missions and Academia and the Indian community.

The First Indo-Sudanese Film –Sudawood Production’s ‘The Dream’

The Dream3

The Dream4

It is reported that more than 30000 Sudanese have studied in Indian Universities. At any given point of time there are more than 3000 Sudanese students studying in different Universities in India. Many of them have fallen in love with Indian girls. Some of them have married and brought their Indian wives to Sudan. A few of them have had their dreams unfulfilled.
Hamza Khalifa the young Sudanese film director chose a storyboard for his film ’The Dream’ in which a Sudanese student Hassan ( played by Hassan Effat) falls in love with his class friend Priya (acted by Priya Sahoo). After graduation, when Hassan proposes to Priya for marriage, her parents strongly object. Lady luck favours Hassan, who as a Good Samaritan, picks up Priya’s father from a roadside accident. This turns the table in Hassan’s favour. Hassan and Priya get married.
Galal Hamid, a Sudanese, who is Overseas Manager at MIOT hospital, Chennai is married to an Indian in real life. Galal got to know about Hamza’s film project and agreed to finance it under the banner of Sudawood Productions. The film is made on a shoe string budget but everything about the film is positive. The unknown cast in the film have acted in a very natural and authentic manner. The techniques adopted by Hamza is promising. The songs selected, both Hindi and Sudanese, sync in well with the movie. The wedding scene is a treat to watch with both the Sudanese and Indian rituals along with the ululation.
This first Indo-Sudanese joint venture in making a film, at a very personal level, needs to be encouraged for the initiative and enthusiasm. My question to Hamza Khalifa, the film maker- will the character in the film Hassan bring Priya to Sudan? I know of many Indian women who married Sudanese men and migrated to Sudan. Hamza can think of a sequel to his first film about Hassan and Priya’s life in SudanThe Dreams3The Dream1GalalHamzaDream

Stop Tobacco to Save Your Life -Sudanese Chest Physicians

Sudanese Chest Physicians Society (SCPS) held their 10th Scientific Conference in Khartoum. The scientific program was comprehensive with lectures, workshops, panel discussions covering topics related to thoracic medicine including critical care, sleep medicine, allergy, immunology and infectious diseases. There were speakers from Egypt, Nigeria, India and Sudan. SCPS in collaboration with World Association of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (WABIP) along with Society of Integrated Medicine and Sleep Disorder (SIMS) Egypt conducted workshops on Flexible Bronchoscopy, Health Education on Bronchial Asthma, Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis and Sleep Disorders. The conference and workshops were well attended by Consultants and Junior Doctors as well. The theme of the conference was ‘Stop Tobacco to Save Your Life’.