Letter to the editor: Concerns about describing community staff in South Sudan

Author(s): Nancy MacKeith

Retired Midwife, UK 

[email protected] 

Dear Editor, 

I am writing in response to the article by Ajingdit et al, published in the May 2023 issue of SSMJ, on essential medicines in a sample of primary health care units and primary health care centres. What an important subject and how useful it is to look at the day-to-day practical work in health facilities of South Sudan.

I have visited South Sudan several times and it is good that the authors point out how supplies can be inadequate because there were more patients than supplies. I was impressed at the record keeping by the staff and wondered if low supplies of petrol made rotation of overstocked medicines between facilities difficult.

I would like to know if the four pharmacy technicians did anything different from the majority of staff (who were community health workers and nurses) and therefore had better availability of medicines where they worked. The authors state a total of seven times that the staff have inadequate skills. When we feel our colleagues could improve it is helpful to acknowledge what they do well and be specific about what can be done better. 

Best wishes to everyone.


Ajingdit DT et al., Cross-sectional study on the availability of essential medicines at public health facilities in Jur River County, South Sudan, South Sudan Medical Journal, 2023;16(2):45-49