SSMJ August 2010
Everyone working in the health services in South Sudan knows that there is a serious shortage of well-qualified nurses and midwives. For example, the following numbers of staff, and the ratio of staff to population, who are presently known to the Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery are:
The South Sudan Doctors’ Association (SOSDA) is a non-governmental, non-profit professional organization established in 2005 by South Sudanese doctors in Sudan.
SOSDA strives to work with the people of South Sudan in all sectors to restore the basic and quality health service which is accessible to all irrespective of sex, tribe or religion.
News, Reports and Policy
The first ever College of Nursing and Midwifery in Southern Sudan has been established. This comes at a time when Southern Sudan is recovering from more than 20 years of civil war, which resulted in decay of the available infrastructure, human resources and systems in the health sector. As well as the lack of qualified personnel, the health care infrastructure including hospitals, primary health care centres and primary health care units also lay in total ruin.
We continue with our series of profiles of Non Governmental Organisations (both international and local) and other organisations working in health related fields in Southern Sudan. We hope this will help to publicise the valuable work these are doing, and allow people to make closer links with each other. In this issue we present the profiles of Medair and Merlin.
Leprosy is the oldest disease known to man. The earliest written records describing true leprosy came from India around the period 600 BC. Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae; the Norwegian, Dr Amauer Hansen, isolated the bacterium in 1873. Leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease after him. Although it is the first human pathogenic bacterium to be defined, M. leprae is the only bacterium causing disease in man that has not been cultured in the laboratory.
Like doctors and other healthcare professionals worldwide, many of us see children with injuries caused by physical violence and girls who have been raped. Sometimes we know that a child is malnourished, sick or traumatised because of abuse or neglect.
The aim of this article is to raise the issue of child abuse and neglect and to start a dialogue on how healthcare and other professionals can better protect South Sudan's children. So please send us your views and suggestions for tackling this problem.
This short review was inspired by an article in "Hospital Medicine" . The availability of plasma liver function tests (LFTs) to monitor hepatotoxicity (liver [hepatic] damage) is uncommon in many resource-poor countries. Even so we must be aware of and not ignore the risk of hepatic damage from many commonly used drugs. It is important to realise that drugs are the commonest cause of liver failure.
Chart 3. How to manage the choking infant and child is from ‘Pocket Book of Hospital Care for Children - Guidelines for the Management of Common Illnesses with Limited Resources’ WHO 2005 – see the whole book at http://www.ichrc.org/. We published Charts 1 and 2 in previous issues of this journal (vol 3 nos 1 & 2) and plan to publish more charts in future issues.
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This section gives relevant clinical information from other journals and reports, and suggests materials that can be freely downloaded, and/or obtained in hard copy or on CD. Items are grouped under: Chronic diseases; HIV and other infections; Maternal and child health/Nutrition; Surgery; General resources.