Juba Link Newsletter No. 7

NEWSLETTER No. 7   JANUARY 2012

The St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight-Juba Teaching Hospital Link would like to congratulate the new country of the Republic of South Sudan on gaining independence on the 9th July 2011.

There had not been any formal Link training visits since the last Newsletter in December 2010 as local advice was given to wait until after the elections and independence had taken place. However, a lot has happened in the intervening period. In May 2011 Tim Walsh was invited to attend the first Medical Specialists Conference in Juba and presented papers on the Development of Postgraduate Medical Education and the Setting up of a General Medical and Dental Council.

A 17 day training visit by nurses and a midwife has now taken place in November 2011. During this visit training was given to ward sisters and head nurses on professionalism, leadership, team development, nursing standards, conduct, ethics and a training the trainer programme. Nursing and midwifery students were also keen to learn and to put their learning in practice. Subjects covered for the students included emergency trauma, first aid, midwifery, mental health and oral health. There are no medically trained psychiatrists in the Republic of South Sudan and hence no training and education programme for either doctors or nurses. Patients with mental health issues are still sent to prison as there is nowhere else to put them. Treatment in prison is intolerable but patients are at least given food and medicines.

The Link was asked to contribute to the training of SPLA doctors based at Juba Military Hospital. This entailed writing Programmes of Instruction and 2 Consultants, Tim Walsh and Eluzai Hakim spent several weeks instructing 26 doctors. Zorina Walsh also went as administrative support for the course which ran from the 16th July to the 18th September 2011. The Military Hospital has very little in the way of facilities including no running water. Teaching took place in a converted warehouse which had been partitioned into 3 classrooms. The doctors were divided into 3 groups and each group rotated through training in Surgery/trauma/orthopaedics and combat surgery, Internal medicine/tropical disease and Obstetrics and gynaecology. Due to lack of patients in the Military Hospital several visits to Juba Teaching Hospital were undertaken so that the doctors could have hands-on training rather than only using manikins. The Link is grateful to the staff at Juba Teaching Hospital for making this possible.

Whilst in Juba we took the opportunity of visiting the site of the Link house and having discussions with the architect. The building is progressing well and the roof is on. A major part of fundraising is currently directed towards raising money for the Link house as this will make the Link sustainable for the long term. The current estimated shortfall is £40,000.

Eluzai Hakim, Tim Walsh (from the Juba Link) and Dr Peter Newman (Royal College of Physicians and newly appointed Director for Postgraduate Medical Education and Training in South Sudan) went to London on the 30th December 2011 to meet with Dr Makur Kariom – Undersecretary for Health, Government of South Sudan and discussed how to progress with a training programme for doctors in South Sudan. A comprehensive training programme has been agreed in principle with the Link taking the lead but funding is required and currently applications are being made to various bodies. It is hoped that the programme will start mid 2012. It is imperative that the Link bungalow is completed as soon as possible so that any visiting trainers will have somewhere to stay for little or no cost and that is conveniently close Juba Teaching Hospital. This bungalow will enormously increase the capacity for training visits and the proposed training programme is predominantly based on sending visiting trainers.

Fundraising events – past and future:

  • West Wight triathlon in September raised over £1,200
  • A Coffee morning and sale at Niton Village Hall in November 2011 raised over £1,300.
  • Hospital Christmas quiz on the 8th December 2011 raised £400
  • Brighstone Church Christmas tree display – 12th December to 26th December 2011
  • Link Christmas dinner – date to be advised
  • A charity auction at the Riverside Centre, Newport at 7pm on the 21st January 2012 with live entertainment.

We are so grateful to all of you who provide support, advice and contribute to our fundraising.

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