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.

Learning Content Marketing from Rahel

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She has a unique title – Chief Knowledge Officer, at Scroll UK. Rahel Anne Bailie is one of the top Content Strategists in the world. I express my gratitude to Lutfi Self Development Centre for bringing Rahel to us in Khartoum for a one day workshop as part of the series of Digital Marketing program. She told us about Content Marketing. She showed us how one can get better brand engagement through Digital Channels. Without Content there is no strategy and without a content strategy there is no Digital Strategy. We need to know how to acquire, manage, configure and publish the content so as to reach the right person at the right time during the customer journey. Content Marketing must educate, inform, find the niche, clarify, differentiate, solve problems, answer questions, provide data, entertain, tell a story, show the future and give to the customer. We knew what a Product Life-cycle and Customer Life-cycle was but we now need to understand Content Life-cycle. Business has gone omnichannel. A TV advert leads to a tablet site. A tablet site prompts profile creation with promo. Profile leads to store with coupon on mobile. Store leads to product purchase. Product package leads to social sharing and registration. Registration leads to emails and SMS with more promos. Loyalty is shared via social and personalized appeals. All these sum up to Customer Experience. When I visited the channels of Content Marketing Institute I learnt that the story of Content is the rise of the New Marketing. Thanks to Rahel for sharing her knowledge on Content Marketing.

Medical Innovation Symposium in Khartoum

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It is heartening to know that Sudan’s next generation is thinking and acting in terms of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startups. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community has organized the Global Entrepreneurship Week 14-20 November to ‘Unleash the Potential’ of the youth in various professional fields. The sessions have covered a range of sectors from the future of Agro challenge to Medical Innovation. They have also given interesting names to the sessions like ‘Get in the Ring- Sudan’; ‘Startup Weekend Khartoum’; ‘Startup Grind Khartoum’ and ‘Women Entrepreneurship Day’. I attended the Medical Innovation Day on 16th November. I was astounded to see the excellent auditorium of the Ministry of Higher Education, the venue for this symposium. I was even more pleased to meet the young members of the Sudanese Medical Innovation Community with Dr.Anman Homeida and Dr.Enas Saifeldin AlWali as the organizers.
Dr. Amjad Mohammed Idries, an experienced public health professional, said that 40% of the people in Sudan do not have access to primary healthcare. There are opportunities to reach this segment through mobiles and technology to educate them how to get personal and primary healthcare. People in Sudan like to talk, love to help and volunteer. Medicos can be innovative and entrepreneurial to reach out to this segment. Dr.Mazin M.Khalil Founder & CEO of SubaMed said that Innovation is simply reducing time and cost and increasing efficiency. He added that Medical Innovation would need the support of the Government, better infrastructure, connectivity and awareness. He added that there is scope for being innovative to create mega data systems of patients in particular and public in general. He said that there is a lot of scope for patient education on healthcare and gave the example of posters and videos for patients waiting in the clinic. Mohamed Hamza gave his valuable inputs as an entrepreneur in the field of Market Research and Consultancy in Consulsat the company he founded. Dr.Anwar Dafa-Alla who is a PhD in Computer Science from South Korea and who has organized many youth forums for unleashing their intellectual potential, spoke in simple terms how IT can innovate medical education, diagnosis and treatment. The Doctors who have initiated ‘Telemedicine’ in Sudan were introduced to the audience.
Dr.Torki Farahat, Founder of SAY Academy, conducted an interactive session about what is healthcare and analysed the benefits of different healthcare systems and commended on a system which the Ministry of Health also had the responsibility of Medical Education. There was another panel in which we had Dr.Anwar Dafa Alla, Dr.Abderrahman Mohamed who is a health insurance professional and Dr. Mohammed Ezeldin Abdelrahman, Dean, Faculty of Computer Science& Information Technology at UMST University.
This panel discussion ignited the young minds in the audience with simple ideas of medical innovation and entrepreneurship. They spoke of various avenues for IT support in the medical field such as Apps in smart phones or plug-ins for the laptop. The take home message was that medical innovation should start with empowering the patient with awareness and information for better healthcare.

Sham – E- Hind, Indian Cultural Evening in Khartoum

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More than 400 people witnessed the Indian Cultural evening held at the premise of the Old Embassy of India on 11th November. The event aptly named Sham – E – Hind was an evening well spent with Indian song and dance program from almost all regions of India. Ambassadors with the First Ladies of U.K., Pakistan, Malaysia and South Korea were present along with many other dignitaries including Mrs. Norma Kfouri, Chairperson of International Volunteers Welfare Group (IVWG). This event was organized and hosted by Indian Ladies Club of Khartoum of which the Indian First Lady Asha Lugun is the President. It was a very well organized program showcasing talent of the Indian community in Khartoum. Delicious Indian food and number of lucky draws with immediate prizes were an additional attraction. Take a glimpse with these photographs.

Indians in Sudan Celebrate National Unity Day

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National Unity Day was introduced by the Government of India and inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. The objective is to pay tribute to one of the founding leaders of the Republic of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel known as the Iron Man of India. As the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of Independent India, Vallabhbhai Patel is credited for the integration of over 550 princely states into India and for consolidating and modernizing the administrative service. Sardar Patel shaped the narrative of a modern, strong and self-reliant India.
National Unity Day is celebrated by the people of India, organizing variety of events. Embassy of India in Khartoum invited friends of India and the Indian community to celebrate the 141st Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Saturday, 5th November at the Indian Community School in Omdurman. The celebrations involved school children to participate in essay competition, dressing up as freedom fighters and leaders of India, speeches and patriotic songs. Ambassador of India H.E. Amrit Lugun opened a photo exhibition on Sardar Patel, paid floral tributes and gave away prizes to the winners of the essay competition. There was also a screening of a short film on the great leader. Ambassador spoke to the large gathering talking about India’s history of freedom movement and Patel’s contribution to nation building in myriad ways.

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

Indian Diaspora Celebrates Gandhi’s Birthday in Omdurman.

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Mahatma Gandhi had left India but the call of the nation brought him back. He had lived in South Africa for 21 years and when he returned he became the leader of the Indian Nationalist Movement which finally got India its independence from the British. The Father of the Nation, as he is known, was earlier a member of the Indian diaspora. Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on 2nd October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Indian diaspora should be looked at, not just in terms of numbers, but also in terms of strength. He said that the strength of Indian diaspora can convert ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain gain’. PM Modi added that when the world is keen to engage with India, the Indian diaspora can help to overcome the obstacle of the ‘fear of the unknown’. PM Modi inaugurated a centre for the Indian diaspora in New Delhi named ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra’.
Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday was celebrated by the students of Omdurman Indian School which was organized by the Embassy of India, Teachers of the school and members of the Indian community. The students participated in Essay and Drawing competitions and three students spoke on Mahatma Gandhi. There was uninterrupted live telecast of Prime Minister Modi’s speech on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s (the Great Soul) birthday also observed as International Day of Non-Violence by United Nations.