Category Archives: Doctors in Sudan

Supporting the National Economy with Quality Medicines at Patient- Friendly-Price

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Way back in the 70s, Dr. Ahmed ElBadawi M.E.Hamid kept asking a question why there was no drug industry in Sudan. He answered his own question and fulfilled his dream in the mid-70s by laying the foundations of Amipharma Laboratories Ltd.
He started with an infrastructure for manufacturing pharmaceuticals in a space not more than 10,000 sq.mts and yet adhered to all International Regulations specified by World Health Organization’s guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practices.
The factory started after selecting a limited number of academically qualified Pharmacists, Chemists, Engineers and Technicians. During this time Prof.Hendricks, Consultant of UNIDO and Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Technology at Ghent University, Belgium, played a significant role for Amipharma. He arranged for training the personnel in Belgium in the field of production, quality control and good manufacturing practices before the commencement of production. Prof. Hendricks also selected the machines and instruments for the quality control laboratory. Amipharma can never forget Prof.Hendricks contribution.
Production started in April 1983 in small batches of limited products with two production lines for tablets and capsules using semi-automatic machines operated by limited number of workers. High quality products at reasonable prices compared to the imported medicines created an increased demand. The company had to import high-tech fully automatic machines by air to cope with the increasing demand. Within only two years of launch, Amipharma products were competing with imported products from Europe specially those of Beecham International. Beecham used to control the market of antibiotics in Sudan those days despite their high prices. Beecham responded to the stiff competition given by Amipharma by assigning contract manufacturing and a contract was signed between both parties. According to this deal, Amipharma obtained the license to produce some of Beecham products at a lower price than the imports, while Amipharma continued to produce the same products at lower prices than that of Beecham. This joint venture continued till the year 2000. Beecham today is part of the giant GSK after merger, which is the top company in the world. This contract manufacturing by Amipharma for European company Beecham undoubtedly had a positive effect and Amipharma gained the trust of Pharmacists and Doctors of Sudan. Moreover, this joint venture made the local company take major steps for development by enhancing their production lines, adding new lines such as dry powders, syrups and suspensions. It was not only the production lines which were developed but also the instruments in the quality control laboratory. Even the infrastructure grew in size and the space of the manufacturing facility increased fivefold to the current 58000 sq.mts.
Amipharma today produces more than 100 products in different dosage forms, strengths and in many therapeutic categories, most importantly antibiotics, antihypertensives, antidiabetics, analgesics and medicines for endemic diseases like malaria and stomach flu.
In its journey of 35 years, Amipharma has earned its reputation and is now a name that people trust. To reach out to all patients throughout Sudan, the company has distribution offices in Nyala, Atbara, and Medani including Khartoum.
To meet the needs of the patients in Sudan, the local industries should start manufacturing Injections, Eye Drops and Inhalers. Amipharma has benefited from this Government’s policy of boosting the local industries which allows national industry to outsource these new dosage forms through contract manufacturing. Amipharma has collaborated with leading companies to manufacture for them for 3 years during which Amipharma will construct production facilities and transfer the technology to carry out local manufacturing of inhalers, injections, eye, ear and nasal drops.
At the export front the company has registered its products in Kenya, Chad and Eritrea. It has already exported to Eritrea and registration processes are going on for other neighbouring countries.
Amipharma is driven by social responsibility and has provided jobs and opportunities for Sudanese men and women. There are 850 employees in the factory engaged in different fields of technology, pharmaceutics, chemistry and management along with the skilled workers and about 300 people in the various distribution offices.
Training opportunities are being provided to students and graduates. Amipharma sponsors research in different fields including universities in Sudan, provides summer jobs for students to financially help them, supports medical convoys to different areas of Sudan financially and with medicines, sponsors scientific and medical conferences, rewards outstanding students in Sudanese universities, supports departments of chronic diseases in many hospitals and also supports and sponsors environment safety projects.

Dr.Ahmed Elbadawi M.E. Hamid CEO & Managing Director of Amipharma was sharing his success story at Arab-Afro Medica 2017 at Friendship Hall. Khartoum 12-14 Dec’17 organised by Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development (AUIED).
At the end Dr.Ahmed concluded by saying “We believe that the success we have accomplished was with God’s help, we were granted the elements of success in the form of financial resources, although it’s a family business yet the profits go back directly to its capital. Qualified personnel are continuously being trained in and outside Sudan. There are clear business agenda and work plans in all departments. We are setting short and long term expansion plans. Our accommodating work environment has given us loyal workers who give their best and cooperate as a family. Today, praise be to Allah, each and every product coming out of any of Amipharma’s production lines is committed to our mission of providing ‘High Quality Medicines to Benefit a Patient at an Affordable Price.
This is not the end, but the beginning to realize our vision.”

Robotic Surgery in Urology

 

Mani Menon, M.D., is a pioneer in robotic surgery and one of the foremost urologists in the United States. The first robotic prostate surgery program in the United States was started by Mani Menon, at the Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) in 2001. The VUI was the first institution to offer the surgery on an out-patient basis. The robotic approach that Dr. Menon developed, the Vattikuti Institute Prostatectomy (VIP), revolutionized the field of Urology, and has become the gold standard for the surgical treatment of prostate cancer. The enhanced nerve-sparing technique developed by Dr. Menon, the “Veil of Aphrodite,” has dramatically improved erectile function outcomes following radical prostatectomy. Dr. Menon also developed the first catheter-free approach.
The above information was shared with a group of healthcare professionals in Khartoum by Dr.D.V.S.L.N Sharma, Senior Consultant Urologist, from the Department of Urology and Robotic Surgery at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad, India. A member of VUI, Dr.Sharma has been inspired by Dr.Mani Menon and performs Robotic Surgery in India. Dr.Sharma had first mastered the basic surgery, laparoscopic surgery and then has learnt robotic surgery which he is practicing since 2013. Due to small incisions, less trauma to the body and greater surgeon precision, robotic surgery provides the following benefits over traditional open procedures including: shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, less pain, fewer complications, including less risk of infection and faster return to normal activities.
Ministry of Health, Sudan has signed a MoU for sending Doctors and Nurses to Apollo Hospital at Hyderabad for training in an exchange program. This will certainly benefit the patients in Sudan.1

Mycetoma – the Flesh Eating Tropical Disease

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Having spent more than two decades in Pharmaceutical industry in India, it is shameful that I was ignorant about Mycetoma. Although the prevalence is high in India, is it because Mycetoma is the Neglected Tropical Disease the reason why I did not hear about it? My last fourteen years of Pharmaceutical experience in Sudan has taught me many things, Mycetoma is one of them. Thanks to Prof. Ahmed Fahal.
Prof.Ahmed Fahal, a surgeon, is the Founding Director of Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC) at the Soba University Hospital under the University of Khartoum. MRC established in 1991 is a WHO Collaborative Centre that is recognized globally as a world leader and an authoritative advisor in Mycetoma management and research. It is one of its kind worldwide as a specialized centre to deal with the Mycetoma patients. Prof.Fahal et al has more than 90 published clinical studies in Mycetoma.
Monday is the day when hundreds of patients visit the centre. There are more than 6700 patients suffering from Mycetoma registered at the centre. Mycetoma commonly affects poor patients in rural areas of Sudan, mainly Mycetoma endemic areas in Sinnar. Gezira and White Nile States. At the centre, there are seven patients’ consultation rooms, minor theatre and patients’ waiting area. There are two well maintained and equipped laboratories: molecular & microbiology. The Clinical services are offered by a group of well- trained clinicians, pathologists, microbiologists, radiologists, nurses and social workers.
Mycetoma is a chronic, progressively destructive morbid inflammatory disease usually of the foot but any part of the body can be affected. Infection is most probably acquired by traumatic inoculation of certain fungi or ‎bacteria into the subcutaneous tissue. Many patients come for treatment at an advanced stage where amputation of the affected part is the only possible treatment.
Public awareness and patient education about Mycetoma is extremely essential for early diagnosis and treatment. The Vision of MRC is dedicated to continuous discovery and development of scientific knowledge and clinical skills applied to the care of Mycetoma patients. The Mission is to eradicate Mycetoma, which is a life-mutilating disease, through the advancement of medical care, research, education and disease prevention. Visit http://www.mycetoma.edu.sd/

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Pacemaker Re-Use: Is it an option for Sudan?

8I met Dr.Zaheer Yousef and Balasundaram Lavan at Madani. This was at the 5th Annual Scientific Conference of Sudan Heart Society during January 26-28, 2017. Dr.Zaheer Yousef is a Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospital of Wales and Cardiff University, U.K. He spent his childhood in Africa and thus wants to help cardiac patients in Africa and other developing countries who can’t afford to buy a new Pacemaker. He has joined hands with a charitable organization named Pace4Life (www pace4life.org). The gentleman on your right is Balasundaram Lavan who gave up his Investment Banking Career to start this organization. He collects used pacemakers when patient’s pass away with the consent of family members. With the cooperation from University of Massachusetts he gets the Pacemakers tested for battery life and gets them sterilized for re-use. This was there second visit to Sudan to implant recycled pacemakers for patients who can’t afford it. At the Cardiologists’ conference in Madani, Dr. Zaheer Yousef raised a few questions to the Sudanese Cardiologists: Do you think it’s safe to implant re-used pacemakers? Do you think re-used pacemakers should be implanted in Sudan? If one of your patients could not afford a pacemaker, would you be happy to offer them a re-used pacemaker? Would you still be happy to offer a re-used pacemaker, if the patient was a member of your family? I stand witness to this event where majority of the Cardiologists in Sudan responded positively in favour of using re-used pacemakers. Welcome pace4life again and again to Sudan.

Change Lifestyle to prevent Diabetes said V.P. Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman. 16% of Sudan’s population is Diabetic.

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There is too much sugar in Sudanese Culture, be it in the songs, poetry and diet. It is time to increase awareness about Diabetes especially in the cities where there is sedentary lifestyle and too much sugar in the diet. Let us change our lifestyle to prevent Diabetes said the Vice President H.E. Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman. He inaugurated the Sudan International Diabetes Congress (SIDC) organized by Sudan Diabetes Federation (SDF) represented by the Sudan Diabetes Association, Sudan Childhood Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care Organization at Friendship Hall, Khartoum. This is the first international conference of diabetes in Sudan organized by SDF and International Diabetes Federation/MENA region following the success of national conferences held over the consecutive years.
In this conference from 16-19th December there will be 21 foreign speakers, 12 speakers from Sudanese Diaspora and many national speakers. The foreign speakers are authorities in Diabetes management from Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait, Norway, UK, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Tanzania. The Scientific program encompasses lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations and workshops in the recent advances in the management of Diabetes. The Co-Chairman of the conference and the Chair, Diabetes Care Organization Prof. Mohamed Ali Eltom welcomed the foreign speakers to the conference. Prof.Eltom is also Chairman of Health Diplomacy Association and has served as Ambassador of Sudan to Nordic countries. The Conference President and Chair, SDF Prof. Abdelazim Kaballo said that we are facing big challenges to prevent and control diabetes in our societies. Today Diabetes is one of the most common non communicable diseases in the world. Diabetes is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most high income countries. It is a major economic burden at all levels from person through families and societies to countries and entire nations. With effective prevention and management programs, we can reduce the prevalence of diabetes and its burden. With joint efforts we can achieve better health for all. Federal Minister of Health H.E. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda congratulated the organisers of the conference and assured that the recommendations from the conference will be put to practice in Sudan. Prof.El Mahdi Mohamed Ali the eminent Endocrinologist of Sudan was felicitated by the honoured guests and the organizing committee. His trophy was received by his daughter in his absence. The Saudi Diabetic Association felicitated the Vice President and the Organisers of this conference with a trophy.

A Benevolent and Humane Physician

abasharDr. Abbasar Hussein Mohamed is a Neuro Physician with more than 50 published studies encompassing epilepsy, cerebrovascular accidents, AIDS and Neurological complications in Diabetes. He has supervised more than 60 postgraduates for their MD thesis / dissertations. He was Head of Neurology at ElShaab Teaching hospital. He runs a very busy clinic at Arbayin street in Omdurman, but what is most noteworthy about Dr. Abbashar is that he is a very benevolent and humane person. He runs a charitable clinic on Fridays with free treatment for hundreds of needy patients. He has also helped many students by paying for their tuition fees and has helped many people in general. We are proud of him and wish Dr.Abbasar Hussein Mohamed all the very best for his philanthropic work.

First 1 to talk about Impurity Free Sugar

sugar1Sugar not fat is the real heart disease killer. WHO recommends that adults should keep their intake of sugar to no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) daily. Sugar is no more a commodity. It is promoted as a brand. Promoting branded sugar with a health message, especially in Sudan which has high consumption of sugar, is innovative positioning. It was ‘First One’ to do it, by communicating the health benefits of its sugar because of its packaging technology. It reads ‘Packed by best technology to best grade impurity free Sugar kernels which have high source of Carbohydrate. It is important to promote your family’s health and well being’.
It simply means its refined sugar. There are other brands of refined sugar in Sudan, but may not have spoken of impurity free as the First 1.sugar2

Souk Libya in Sudan

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No, I’m not in Libya but in the peripheries of Omdurman (Sudan) known as Souk Libya. Enjoying field work with colleague Ziyad Tarig Nimir. Three decades back, goods used to be imported from Libya and sold in this market, thus the name Souk Libya. Today only the highway remains, going to the Libyan desert.