SSMJ February 2022


The unmet need of pit latrine use by disabled people: a practical solution

The papers by Schmachtenberger et al and Hey et al, published in this issue, identify the unmet need of assistive technologies for people living in rural communities in Lira, Northern Uganda in accessing the use of pit latrines, and describe a new range of portable toilet seats. These toilet seats, designed by the University of San Diego Mechanical Engineering under-graduate students in California, and built by local carpenters in Lira, appear to help persons with disabilities to access pit latrines.

News, Reports and Policy

Appeal to support the Al Sabah Children’s Hospital Resource Centre, Juba, South Sudan

Dr Justin Tongun, Consultant Paediatrician and Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics at the University of Juba Medical School would like to make an appeal for assistance, preferably in kind, to furnish the Al Sabah Resource Centre.

Daily confirmed and cumulative COVID-19 deaths.

The graphs show South Sudan daily confirmed and cumulative COVID-19 deaths.

Snakebite cases on the rise as antivenom runs out in Warrap

Snakebite cases on the rise as antivenom runs out in Warrap

Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund (GMCTF)

Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund (GMCTF)

Clinical Guidance

Sanitation resources for disabled individuals in Uganda

The material presented in this paper was derived from research on sources of current literature that address global sanitation problems, especially in Uganda. Information gathered from interviews with Ugandans provided a vital component. The paper presents background information on the sanitation issues faced by Ugandan children in general and by individuals with physical disabilities in particular. It reviews the global progress being made to achieve international goals of sanitation and hygiene and compares them to the situation in Uganda.

Portable pit latrine seats to increase sanitation for disabled individuals in Lira, Uganda

This paper presents a viable solution that evolved over several years of research to mitigate the sanitation problems faced by individuals in rural areas of Uganda, particularly those with disabilities, addressed in our first paper (Schmachtenberger et al.). The solution is based on interviews and contacts with affected individuals in Lira, Northern Uganda, where the most commonly used sanitation facility is a pit latrine. To that end three types of design considerations and requirements for effective pit latrine assistive devices were adopted in the development of the technology discussed in this paper. Ultimately, three different designs were fabricated after synthesizing the requirements, preliminary user feedback, and engineering knowledge of mechanical design.


Determinant factors of immediate outcomes of Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Gondar, Ethiopia

Annually about 15 million preterm babies are born around the world and more than one million die soon after birth mainly due to respiratory complications. Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is a common and serious complication of preterm birth accounting for 50% of preterm deaths. RDS is responsible for 30-40% of admissions in the neonatal period. The prevalence of RDS varies with gestational age (GA), 30% among preterm, and 20% among post terms to 4% in term babies.

One year’s experience of extra-pulmonary TB in a county/regional hospital in South Sudan

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) competes with malaria for being the greatest killer of all time. Much of the first world has TB under control, but that is not true in South Sudan. The first world has the best diagnostic techniques, but where they are most needed, these are lacking. Most TB is in the lungs, but it is certainly not rare in other areas of the body (extrapulmonary) (EP TB).

Case Reports

Double uterus in young women delivered by Caesarean Section: five cases from South Sudan and Ethiopia

Double uterus (uterus didelphys) is the second least common congenital anomaly of the female genital tract resulting from failure of fusion of the two Müllerian ducts during embryological development, leading to duplication of the uterus and the cervix. The condition may be associated with abnormalities of the Wolffian duct such as ipsilateral renal agenesis. Presence of a double uterus increases obstetric complications.

Giant ossifying fibroma of the mandible

This case report is of an unusual peripheral ossifying fibroma involving the left side of mandible in a 22-year-old female patient, who presented to the dental department with a painless hard swelling which impaired proper breathing and mastication. The lesion was treated by surgical resection.


Back-to-basics: Fever is a syndrome and not just pyrexia

Fever is a common presenting complaint in sub-Saharan Africa. Although it has many causes, the symptoms of fever, with or without an elevated body temperature, should always make the clinician suspect infection. The other presentations associated with fever often help identify its likely cause. However, the features of fever that make it life-threatening continue to bedevil physicians.