NEWSLETTER No. 6 DECEMBER 2010
The 4th training visit by senior clinicians from the St Mary’s Hospital,Isle of Wight – Juba Teaching Hospital Link took place in March 2010. The team, led by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Jane Salih/Newson-Smith consisted of Kim Hayter (Registered Mental Health Nurse), Bob Marks (Mental Health Manager/Nurse) and France Reed (Registered Midwife).
The main objective of teaching a psychiatric module to Medical Assistants was successful, despite the need for a steep learning curve in our teaching methods. IT facilities are urgently needed.
A major problem was an untreated sewage swamp next to the ward. By the end of the visit there was evidence of drainage work starting. There was a need and a wish for general nurses to have a specific mental health training.
Lack of psychotropic medication in the prison and this presents the most urgent need. Many international agencies are involved in the development of the prison service to reach international standards after the years of conflict. The team felt that there is an urgent need for a specialist wing in the prison for those with major mental illness where treatment can be initiated. In the longer term a new unit with modern facilities is desired.
There is an absence of community mental health work in Southern Sudan, but the model observed for disabled children could be adapted for mental health as an outreach approach. There is a training need for community workers, this could be delivered on a small scale to such a project on a subsequent visit.
There is also a need for medically qualified psychiatrists in the main centres. They are needed to take a lead in complex clinical work, strategic planning, thinking and leadership. A few very able medical assistant students have expressed the wish to train as doctors and specialise in psychiatry.
Midwife, France Reed, was on her second training visit to Juba Teaching Hospital. Following a meeting with the Director of Nursing/Midwifery to discuss the training needs France undertook a 3 day workshop for the hospital midwives and worked on the maternity ward teaching by good practice as well as assisting in theatre and issuing protocols.
The School of Nursing & Midwifery was opened in May 2010. This is thanks to various agencies including the Real Medicine Foundation, World Children’s Fund and the St Mary’s Hospital,IW-Juba Teaching Hospital Link. Tutors and students are working hard to make this School a success. The handing over ceremony took place on the 6th December 2010 and was the Link was represented by Tim Walsh.
New Minister of Health – His Excellency Dr Luka Monoja has recently taken up this vital post and the Juba Link congratulates Dr Monoja on his appointment. The Minister is particularly keen on getting a postgraduate medical education training programme going and the Link is in the forefront of developing a programme along with the newly appointed Director of Medical Education for Southern Sudan– Dr Louis Danga. The Minister and his team of Mrs Janet Michael, Director of Nursing/Midwifery,Dr Louis Danga and Dr Daniel Othol, Head of London GOSS Office, visited the Isle of Wight on Monday 6th December 2010 and met the Chairman of the Trust and the Chief Operating Officer and members of the Link. This was followed by a dinner where further discussion took place. The following day Dr Eluzai Hakim chaired a meeting of members of other Wessex links with Southern Sudan and on Wednesday 8th December very detailed discussions took place regarding the implementation of a postgraduate medical training programme, attended by Dr John Acres, Deanery representative and Dr Sue Colley, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton led discussions on postgraduate nurse training. The will be meeting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Royal College of Physicians Overseas Dept during the rest of the week.
The University of Juba Medical School has 3rd year medical students based in Juba rather than in Khartoum. It is hoped that eventually the University will move all faculties back to Juba. Tim Walsh is currently examining 3rd year medical students and the University of Juba Medical School.
The Link is progressing with the building of a bungalow for visiting trainers. The Minister strongly supports this as part of the plan to get postgraduate medical education going and plans are afoot to build similar accommodation in Wau and Malakal. There is still a long way to go but there is some optimism.
Due to the recent elections, the referendum due in January 2011 and on local advice the Link has temporarily put visits on hold but outline plans are underway for visits in 2011.
The Link would urge doctors in Southern Sudan to get internet access to the South Sudan Medical Journal (http://www.southernsudanmedicaljournal.com) as there is a wealth of training material via this online journal.
The Link is pleased to note that the Poole/Wau link is strong and that Winchester Hospital Trust has undertaken a needs assessment visit to Yei in early November.
Fundraising: Recent events included a treasure hunt, triathlon by 3 members of the Juba Link, a bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End by a hospital radiographer and in the run up to Christmas the team are doing a “bag pack” at one of the local Co-Op stores, the hospital Christmas quiz (team name “National Elf Workers”)and decorating a Christmas tree as part of a fundraising effort from several local churches. Finally the Link should have had its first Christmas Dinner on the 2nd December but due to the snow it has been postponed to January 2011.
The Juba Link wishes everyone a very “Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year”