Category Archives: Doctors in Sudan

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

Libya
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.

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.