SSMJ August 2018


Mental health in South Sudan: a ticking time bomb

Mental health (psychiatric) disorders include conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These disorders have been associated with substance abuse and violence. Despite the commonality of mental health disorders and their impact on South Sudanese society, they are heavily stigmatised and misunderstood. The negative connotations surrounding psychiatric disorders renders psychiatry one of the most neglected fields of medicine, not just in South Sudan, but worldwide.

News, Reports and Policy

My experience as an international student at the Southern Medical University in China

My name is Panom Puok Duoth Kier. I was born in Nasir County, Upper Nile State, Republic of South Sudan. I graduated from Mekelle University School of Public Health with a Bachelor Degree in Public Health in 2009, and have a diploma in Public Health Nursing from Haramaya University, Ethiopia. I have experience in Public Health and Clinical Medicine in government and non-governmental organizations in South Sudan and Ethiopia

Proceedings of the Bentiu International Health Symposium

The Bentiu Health Symposium was an interactive forum to share knowledge; stimulate and exchange ideas, and identify what efforts are needed to address the crisis. The symposium highlighted the importance of collective experience in a situation where published health surveillance data are scarce or incomplete. The participants agreed that it was necessary to understand the local situation, constraints and difficulties in order to identify what can be done next. The following sections provide an overview of the topics presented and the issues that were discussed.

ELSSA = Essential Life Saving Skills for Africa 

LSSA, a Northern Ireland based charity, provides Essential Obstetric (Mother) and Newborn Care (EONC) training courses for doctors, midwives and clinical officers to address these conditions. All our facilitators are experienced midwives or consultant obstetricians, and are volunteers. We use evidence based ‘skills and drills’ training specifically developed for Africa.

Improving maternal and child health through media in South Sudan: final evaluation

This report presents a synthesis of all research and analysis completed under this project. In brief, it finds that the challenging country context (e.g. the limited availability of quality healthcare nationally and the ongoing humanitarian crisis) limited the extent to which the project was able to contribute to improved health outcomes.

World Breastfeeding Week 1-7 August 2018

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates the annual World Breastfeeding Week campaign, working closely with many organisations and individuals. In a world filled with inequality, crises and poverty, breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers. The slogan of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.

Clinical Guidance

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How culture shapes the sexual and reproductive health practices among adolescent girls in Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan

South Sudan has one of the world’s youngest populations with 72 percent of the population below 30 years of age and 7 percent of adolescent age (15 to 19 years). After decades of political unrest and civil war, South Sudan’s population, especially girls and women, have been left impoverished, undereducated and underemployed with limited access to health services. Data from the 2010 South Sudan Household Health Survey found that 26 percent of adolescent girls (aged 15–19 years) are mothers. However, interventions targeting adolescent girls can both support and empower this group to make safe and healthy choices

Mothers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices on preventing diarrhoea in Juba, South Sudan

Social factors such as mothers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) related to the prevention of diarrhoea influence child health and survival. We used the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of diarrhoea. Diarrhoeal diseases are leading causes of young child morbidity and mortality in South Sudan. In 2014 the two-week point prevalence of diarrhoea among under-five year old children in Rubkona POCS, Unity State was estimated to be 43.6%.

Importance of ultrasonography in evaluating eye injuries: data from Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria

Ocular injury is an important cause of poor vision and blindness worldwide. Ocular trauma is more common among males due to their aggressive nature and curiosity.The World Health Organization reported 1.6 million people were blind due to eye injuries. The prevalence of traumatic eye injury ranges from 2%-6% world-wide, and 97% is due to blunt trauma. The common causes of ocular injury include motor vehicle incident, sports, falls, and home and industrial accidents. A trivial ocular trauma may result in blindness from consequences such as retinal detachment, macular hole and vitreous haemorrhage.

Case Reports

Acute spontaneous tumour lysis syndrome in a patient with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: a rare case report

Metabolic disorders such as hyperuricaemia and hyperuricaemic renal failure, hyperpotassaemia and hyperphosphataemia in hematological malignancies with high tumour burden and high turnover and rarely in solid malignancies are defined as acute tumour lysis syndrome. It frequently occurs after treatment (chemotherapy / radiotherapy) and rarely occurs before treatment. In this case, it is called spontaneous acute tumour lysis syndrome. We aimed to remind clinicians of this rare clinical entity with high mortality risk by presenting a patient with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute spontaneous tumour lysis syndrome.

Pica as a persistent eating disorder associated with iron deficiency anaemia: two case reports

Pica is typically defined as the persistent ingestion of non-nutritive substances for at least one month at an age when this behaviour is developmentally inappropriate. The definition is occasionally broadened to include the chewing non-nutritive substances. Pica may be benign, or it may have life-threatening consequences. The condition is more frequent in those with autism and intellectual disabilities. It has been reported in all ages, and both sexes, and is particularly prevalent among young children, people of low socio - economic status, and pregnant women as well as in cases with micronutrient deficiencies such as iron and zinc.


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