“To promote the understanding of the needs and to support the Government of Southern Sudan in order to improve clinical services through the development of education and training”
The idea of linking St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight and Juba Teaching Hospital started in November 2007 when a local consultant, originally from Juba, drew a small team together to look at the feasibility of forming a link between the two hospitals. This coincided with the report by Lord Crisp in 2007 on Global Health Initiatives in which UK hospitals were being encouraged to join with and support healthcare in developing countries. Health statistics from Southern Sudan are amongst the poorest in the world.
Lack of local training programmes for Nurses, Doctors, Healthcare Assistants and Midwives contribute to the figures:
- Maternal mortality is 2037 per 100,000 births (cf UK 3.2 per 100,000)
- Infant mortality 150 per 1000 (cf UK 5 per 100,000)
- Diseases are reemerging that are extinct or controlled elsewhere in the developing world e.g. Tuberculosis, Onchocercasis, Leishmaniasis
- Prevelance of HIV/AIDS is undetermined
- Less than 8 trained midwives for 8,000,000 population
- Specialists, diagnostic equipment and structured training are lacking such that some treatment (not available for all) is undertaken elsewhere i.e. India, Jordan, South Africa and Uganda.
With the support of THET (Tropical Health Education Trust), a fact finding visit was undertaken to Juba in March 2008. Charitable status was granted in April 2008 and Baroness Cox of Queensbury became the Patron writing:
“The healthcare situation in Southern Sudan is dire and your support will help make a very important contribution at this critical time”
The Link is sustained by intense fundraising activities and charitable donations.