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/
Sugar 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.
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.