The South Sudan Medical Journal: Keep it up
As an avid reader since 2008 of the South Sudan Medical Journal, always interested in the reports, reviews and research papers, I am delighted to have the opportunity to express, on behalf of the readership, our gratitude to the Editor-in-Chief, Editors and Associate Editors, Editorial Adviser and Assistants, and the Production Team for consistently in every quarterly issue, presenting a breadth of medical educational material. This leads to the development of skills and knowledge to improve our clinical practice especially, but not exclusively, in the key setting of South Sudan.
The current issue (the 56th) contains a report on the readership which shows how this has steadily increased, how the Journal has been recognised and read in every Continent, and yet maintained its core emphasis, aim and mission relating to the healthcare professionals of South Sudan and the nearby countries. Readers and followers of the Journal over the years will have seen how it has grown, broadened its coverage, become more mature and sophisticated in its appearance and content, and placed itself in a very satisfactory ranking alongside other medical journals concerned with or derived from clinical practice in Africa.
What does the Journal do particularly well? I can list a number of features. Its striking covers, internal lay out, style and catching illustrations each attract the reader to its content. The focus on contemporary health issues concerning particularly South Sudan. The “How to do it” articles which are so helpful to those doctors and nurses practising away from peer support networks, but perhaps equally beneficial in their authoritative practicality to any practitioner. The reviews of selected matters, for instance on Malaria in the December 2020 issue, are especially important. The continuing flow of sometimes nuanced but always relevant research papers are of note. I could go on...
How may the South Sudan Medical Journal grow and improve in the future? The simple answer is more of the same. The Journal provides an on-line and accessible free facility which matches many other better known comparators and gives the opportunity for publication of research material to those working in more isolated situations as well as those in more usual research environments. It is important that regular topical review articles are commissioned and published. There is an almost inexhaustible field of “How to do it” topics which are rightly popular and of great practical benefit and should continue to be commissioned and feature in every issue – and could perhaps be compiled into a separately accessible window in the website of the Journal. It is essential to maintain the prime focus of the Journal on South Sudan, but the involvement, as contributors and readers, of those outside South Sudan both locally and from more of a distance, should continue to be encouraged.
The mission of the Journal is “to publish research and clinical guidance that will positively influence the development of healthcare services in South Sudan and beyond”. Congratulations to all those who are involved with the successful fulfilment of this mission.