“It is by the grace and provisions of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that we report the successful completion of another semester” – Dr Anil Cherian, director of the National Institute of Health Sciences, training health workers for South Sudan.
Over the last semester, training for clinical officer students at the NIHS has included emergency situations in childbirth. This is crucial as they come to the end of their training this summer and prepare to return to South Sudan where a huge lack of trained health workers leads to some of the world’s worst health statistics:
Only 17% of births are attended by a skilled health personnel. Around 1 in 28 women die in childbirth.
Infant mortality is also in the highest 10% in the world.
Over the past semester these 18 clinical officer students (who carry out a similar job to doctors) have spent 354 hours in the classroom and 412 on clinical placements! They have covered a range of healthcare topics including: General Medicine, Paediatrics, General Surgery including Orthopedics and Obstetrics and Gynecology and gained great practical experience in three busy, rural Ugandan hospitals.
With this knowledge and experience they have the potential to make a huge difference in South Sudan.
This great amount of teaching is largely carried out by Drs Anil and Shalini Cherian, who also direct the NIHS. They have also received welcome support from several volunteer medical teachers from around the globe. The students have also benefited from two skills workshops by experts in the field: one on ‘basic surgical skills’ (left) by a retired Australian surgeon and a second on ‘orthopedic fractures’ by a Canadian orthopedic surgeon.
As you can see above the students we able to practice their surgical skills on a pig’s thorax – which later also made for an exiting dinner!
So close and yet so far!
The biggest hurdle to these students graduating is funding. AID is seeking to raise £25,000 this spring to ensure that these students can complete their training and return to South Sudan. If you would like to help please click here.