SSMJ May 2024


No smoke without fire: Recreational cannabis use among South Sudanese youth

‘Bangi’, ‘ganja’, ‘weed’, ‘grass’, and ‘herb’ are a handful of names for psychoactive preparations of the Cannabis sativa plant. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cannabis is the world’s “most widely cultivated, trafficked and abused illicit drug.” Compared to substances like cocaine or heroin, recreational cannabis use enjoys a somewhat sanitised reputation as a ‘natural’ panacea for issues ranging from insomnia to social anxiety. This perception is further complicated by the legitimate applications of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids, which under professional supervision, have shown efficacy in alleviating symptoms of conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

News, Reports and Policy

Reflections on a clinical observership in London: Lessons and impact on medical training

Medicine is a dynamic profession, and international exposure and collaborations are essential for professional growth and the advancement of healthcare practices. Clinical observerships serve as invaluable opportunities for medical professionals to gain first-hand experience in diverse healthcare settings. In this reflective piece, I provide a detailed account of a clinical observership experience in London, exploring its impact on my personal and professional development, and advocating for similar opportunities for doctors, particularly those in South Sudan.

University of Juba launches a Master of Medicine in Paediatrics and Child Health

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba launched a three-year Master of Medicine (MMed) programme in Paediatrics and Child Health in the School of Medicine. The first batch of seven students includes five females and two males.

Dr. Bushra Ibnauf Center for Learning in Juba, South Sudan: Vision and mission

In partnership with the South Sudan Ministry of Health, SAMA is working towards launching Infectious Disease ECHO in July 2024 that will connect medical professionals in South Sudan and Sudan with experts in Hepatitis B, HIV and TB, sharing experiences in an interactive “All Teach, All Learn” approach. Learners will attend the teachings at the planned Bushra Ibnauf Center for Learning in Juba as well as the Bushra Ibnauf Center for Learning in Port Sudan.

Call for Papers: South Sudan Orthopaedics and Trauma Society Conference

Call for Papers: South Sudan Orthopaedics and Trauma Society Conference

Clinical Guidance

No documents found.


Inadequacy of a 12.5 cm MUAC as a cutoff for malnutrition for children aged three to five years

MUAC (mid-upper arm circumference) is a simple and easily taught screening tool for identifying malnutrition in children. South Sudan use a MUAC of 12.5 cm for children aged between six months and five years as a cut-off for moderate acute malnutrition. Currently, in South Sudan, children from six months to five years have the same MUAC cutoff for malnutrition.

Prevalence and associated factors of family planning among students of health training institutes in Juba: A cross sectional descriptive study

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines family planning (FP) as the “ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their birth”. It involves a wide spectrum of methods ranging from short-term to permanent techniques. The short-term methods include pills, condoms, lactational amenorrhoea, diaphragms, and emergency contraceptive pills while long-term methods encompass injectables, implants, and intra-uterine devices. Permanent methods incorporate female and male sterilisation.

Case Reports

Ischaemic strokes and myocardial infarctions in a young male cannabis user

Ischaemic cerebral infarctions are seen in young people but, under the age of 30, multiple bilateral infarcts are uncommon; genetic pre-disposition and co-morbidities often underlie them. There is growing awareness of the potential impact of modifiable risk factors, such as cannabis, for those experiencing stroke and other cardiovascular events.

A haemopneumothorax revealing thoracic endometriosis

Thoracic endometriosis is a rare disease but its actual frequency may be underestimated. Optimal management remains controversial. A multidisciplinary management approach, including surgery and hormone therapy, seems to give the best results and reduces recurrence. We report a case of a patient presenting with recurrent haemopneumothorax caused by thoracic endometriosis and treated surgically by video thoracoscopy and hormonal treatment.

A giant primary ovarian fibrosarcoma in a South Sudanese patient

Ovarian fibrosarcomas are exceptionally uncommon neoplasms contributing to less than 1% of all ovarian malignancies. They are of fibroblast origin with slow or rapid growth and a well circumscribed appearance. There are less than one hundred cases reported in the literature. They are seen more in the peri or postmenopausal age groups but can occur in other age groups.

Endoscopically diagnosed hookworm infestation in an adult with chronic iron deficiency anaemia

Despite advances in hookworm control and prevention campaigns, the prevalence remains high in sub-Saharan Africa. Iron deficiency anaemia is a major complication in those with prolonged infection, a high hookworm burden, and undernutrition, though most infected people are asymptomatic. While infected patients are commonly diagnosed by the presence of ova or cysts in the stool, gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is required for those with negative stool tests and chronic iron deficiency anaemia.


Letter to the Editor: Address risk factors as part of clinical practice to prevent stroke

I read with great interest the excellent editorial by Hakim on addressing risk factors in clinical practice for preventing stroke. Indeed, stroke is a major public health problem with a high morbidity and mortality disproportionately over-represented in low- and middle-income countries.