SSMJ November 2017
With this issue in November 2017, the South Sudan Medical Journal marks its tenth anniversary of continuous uninterrupted quarterly publication since the first issue in February 2008. It has published 40 issues in ten volumes with approximately 66 research papers and 113 clinical guidance articles, in addition to editorials, reports, news items and excerpts from medical journals.
News, Reports and Policy
Stroke disease in Ghana has been of increasing concern since the mid to late 20th century, in association with the increasing westernisation of diet and lifestyle. Two thirds of world-wide mortality cases from stroke occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Ghanaian capital city region of Accra, stroke is now attributed as the second largest cause of death. The burden of stroke in sub-Saharan Africa is significant.
In 2015, about 830 women died every day due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries ; 550 occurred in Africa and 180 in Southern Asia, compared to only 5 in high income countries. The risk of a woman dying in a developing country from a maternal-related cause during her lifetime is about 33 times higher compared to a woman living in a developed country.
Ocular trauma is damage to the eye as a result of mechanical, electrical, thermal, or chemical energy . It is a frequent and avoidable cause of visual impairment. Injuries range from a small corneal epithelial abrasion to pen¬etrating and globe rupture. Over 55 million eye injuries occur each year ; 1.6 million people go blind from these injuries, 2.3 million suffer bilateral low vision and 19 million remain with unilateral or low vision.
Fridge cylinders contain liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), an inflammable gas of mixture of propane and butane. It’s colourless but odourised to give warning during leakage. Injury from accidental fridge cylinder explosion is similar to any other blast injuries in terms of the release of hot gases, blast wave and metal fragments resulting in extensive skin burns, abrasions, penetrating injury and tissue loss. Ocular trauma following gas cylinder explosion is rare however, Babar et al reported 20% of ocular trauma to be secondary to gas cylinder and battery explosion.
The international community was shocked in August 2017 when the number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda reached one million. It was news that made the world focus on this devastating conflict which is now into its fifth year and with no end in sight. There was a scramble to revive the peace agreement and the United Nations Security Council under Secretary General Antonio Guterres held a special session to review the humanitarian crisis in the country. The spotlight on the refugees was timely.