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.
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’.
Ambassador Susan Blankhart of the Netherlands is very active and visible in social media where we get to know that she has been invited for a typical Sudanese gada (lunch) or she has visited a potato farm in Omdurman. But this time social media announced about the challenge she took to swim across the Blue Nile. On Saturday 21st November at around 4 pm she along with six Dutch women and seven Sudanese girls swam across Blue Nile. The message she gave was that women should not be afraid to swim in the Nile in fear of getting drowned. This event named Crossing the Nile was supported by organizations like Nile Swimmers, Sea Scouts and the Dutch Don’t Drown Foundation.
At the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit, New Delhi , President of the Republic of Sudan Field Marshal Omar Hassan Al-Bashir concluded his speech by quoting excerpts of a poem by Sudanese poet Taj Elsir Al Hassan written one year after Bandung conference – ” friendly hands were extended to us, the face of Gandhi and the deep echoes of India sent us the singing voice of Tagore, on two wings of poem in the garden of art”.
On Friday 13th June, there was a Medical Doctor and an Ambulance waiting at Khartoum airport for a passenger from El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, Sudan. There were also senior security officials from United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Sudanese Security Agencies, State Minister of Darfur, Ambassador of India ,other officials from the Indian Embassy and the media waiting for this passenger. They were all waiting to receive Irfan Jaffery an Indian national who just got released from his abductors after three months in Darfur. Once he arrived he certainly didn’t look like he needed medical support. Irfan hails from Mumbai and is a software professional working with multinational company Trigyn Technologies who work for UN worldwide. He with almost 70 other professionals was posted in Darfur.
On 11th March he was abducted by armed rebels in El Fasher. He was kept in various places and the last place was Kabkabiya. There was a ransom for INR 32, 00,000 which is approximately USD 50,000. The policy of Government of India and UNAMID was against payment of ransom.
“Safety of Irfan Jaffery was my prime concern and we profusely thank Sudan Government particularly the Security Agencies, Provincial Government and the Foreign Ministry for getting him released from the abductors without paying any ransom” said the Ambassador of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma. Irfan, a bodybuilder had a smile in his face and was anxious to go back to his distraught family who had patience for these three months. Irfan expressed his gratitude to UNAMID, Sudan Government and the Government of India for their sincere and strategic plan and action in getting him released from captivity.
The two common factors between siblings Lina and Mohamed Elhaj are that they both have a Brown Belt in Karate and both have achieved excellent results in their Primary School Examinations.
Lina Emad Mohamed Alhaj is this year’s Topper in Sudanese Primary Certificate Examination with a total of 279 out of 280. Her father Emad said that they had expected her to do well. When asked about how many hours of study she devoted in a day, Emad replied that Lina always maintained a daily routine of studies in the evening after school and also watched TV and played games. She actually did not put in extra hours during the Exams because she had studied consistently well throughout the year. Lina’s favourite subjects are Science and English. She nurtures the hope to be an architect or an interior designer someday. Lina thanks her parents particularly her mother for her good results. She is also grateful to her school Khartoum Shariq and her teachers Malik, Isam, Gibreel and the school leader Baday.
Her brother Mohamed Elhag is very happy for her because Lina has topped the results with 279 while he had scored the third highest with 278 in 2012. He will feel more proud of her when he accompanies her to the Police Club for Karate lessons.
Dr.Sulafa Ali – pioneer in treating children’s heart diseases in Sudan requested the media to announce ‘Bad Throat is a Killing Disease’. This is to create awareness about children’s heart diseases. A bad throat may lead to rheumatic fever. Untreated and recurrent rheumatic fever leads to rheumatic heart disease which can cause permanent damage to the heart valves. This disease, she said, affects ten out of 1000 children in Sudan.
Dr.Sulafa was speaking at a ‘Walkathon’ on 24th April at the International Park in Khartoum where more than 400 people including school children participated.
The event ‘for our children’ was organized by Sudanese Indian Friendship Association (SIFA), Embassy of India and MIOT hospital of India.
Dr.Sulafa praised the commitment and professional skills of MIOT hospital and has been collaborating with them for the past 4 years. In the last few days Dr.Sangeetha Vishwanathan, Interventional Paediatric Cardiologist of MIOT hospital worked with Dr.Sulafa and screened 600 patients for children’s heart diseases.
Dr. Prithvi Mohandas, Jt.Managing Director of MIOT hospital with 1000 beds, said that Sudan could reproduce their model of treating poor patients. MIOT hospital has high end treatment for overseas and rich Indian patients and thus provides subsidized treatment fees for poor patients. This requires high end machineries and excellent doctors. Dr.Prithvi said that Sudan with its highly qualified doctors can become the best healthcare destination in Africa and MIOT is willing to collaborate to fulfill this dream.
Ambassador of India Sanjay K. Verma asked the participants to pledge to spread the awareness against children’s congenital heart disease so that doctors can nip in the bud and prevent it from becoming a killer disease.
Presidential Assistant Abdulrahman Al Sadig Al Mahdi shared with the audience that medical research says that walking is very good for the heart and one who walks for 20 minutes every morning has a healthy heart. He added that students who walk to school are more fit than students who commute by transport. He thanked MIOT hospital, SIFA and the Ambassador of India for organizing such a healthy event for our children.
Other dignitaries who participated in the Walkathon and thanked the organizers were Kamal Hassan Ali State Minister of Social Welfare, Ustaz Abdel Basit Abdel Majid and Dr.Anil Mithani President Omdurman Indian Community. Finally, Yousrie Burai President of Sudanese Indian Friendship Association thanked one and all who participated to make the purposeful ‘Walkathon’ a success.
I didn’t know about United World Colleges (UWC) until I heard about my son’s classmate Mawada Abdalla getting a UWC scholarship and going to Pune to study IB. UWC Mahindra College in Pune is financially supported by business house Mahindra & Mahindra. The college occupies 175 acres land with prize winning campus buildings and natural environment. There are 14 UWC colleges all over the world but Mawada Abdalla of year 11 Unity High School, Khartoum, Sudan has got admission with scholarship into UWC Mahindra, Pune in India. Mawada is looking forward to her two years stay in India. You’ll love it Mawada. By the way let me add Mawada is Head Girl in Unity of 2014 and her speech as Head Girl at the graduation was excellent.
Check out http://www.uwc.org/about_uwc/default.aspx
There are about 30 newspapers published in Sudan. Publishing a newspaper is a major challenge in Sudan. Most of the newspapers have faced upheavals at some point of time. Even newcomer Al-Youm Al-Tali was not spared.
Muzammil Abulgasim Editor-in-Chief of Al-Youm Al-Tali had the tenacity to make his Arabic daily increase its readership day by day. Today it is one of the most popular print medium dailies.
On 14th April’14 the newspaper lit the first candle and cut the cake of its first birthday. The grand celebrations were well deserved amidst the Ministers, Politicians, Diplomats, Artists, Footballers and celebrities of every walk of life.
Thanks to their journalist Mahmoud Aldnou who invited me to their first anniversary at Corinthia Hotel. I was amazed at the popularity of the successful young media chief Muzammil Abulgasim.
If one searches the name of the capital of North Kordofan in the internet, one will get two spellings, Al Ubbayid and El Obeid. The Ambassador of India prefers the former because it sounds more Arabic.
The Ambassador of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma visited Al Ubbayid on 9th & 10th April on an invitation from the Wali of North Kordofan, Moulana Ahmed Haroun. The Ambassador met the Wali and his cabinet and discussed fruitful ways to deepen and enhance cooperation. Subjects of special interest included agriculture, health, water resources, sanitation and capacity building. Issues of ecological degradation were discussed with India’s possible assistance. Rain water harvesting was discussed with models for access to public services and India’s experience. Ambassador Verma offered training courses to be provided to the Sudanese citizens in North Kordofan.
The Ambassador visited an edible oil mill and a vocational training center. A dinner was hosted by the alumni of Indian universities in the city. The former graduates found it very nostalgic and memorable.
The Indian Ambassador travelled by road and enjoyed the journey, singing his favourite Indian film songs.