Conference plans rebuilding of Southern Sudan's health servicesBMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7510.179 (Published 21 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:179
All rapid responses
An international conference was held on 14th and 15th July 2005 at
Imperial College, London, attended by 187 participants from 12 countries.
The delegates considered health systems, health package priorities,
manpower and service development, the health problems of Southern Sudan
(SS) as an African problem, and training needs.
The conference concluded that the epidemiological and health profile
of SS reflects a high burden of diseases. Trained human resources and
existing health systems are weak. Internally Displaced Persons and
returning refugees will intensify the magnitude of the health problem.
There are currently 17 rural hospitals, 101 Primary Health Care (PHC)
Centres and 549 PHC Units to serve 8 million people, but all are under
staffed and lack drugs. The need is for 63 rural hospitals, 300 PHC
Centres and 1451 PHC units.
The first challenge is to control existing infections: epidemic
outbreaks of yellow fever, whooping cough, measles, and meningococcal
meningitis occur regularly. Endemic diseases include malaria, TB,
onchocerciasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariaisis, and
trypansomiasis. SS is one of the two countries still infected with guinea
worm. HIV/AIDs is a serious emerging problem facing the south.
The conference agreed that good governance is vital. Thereafter the
Government of Southern Sudan must review the basic health service package,
prepare a strategic PHC plan, and establish a functional Health
Information System. It will be essential to enhance community
participation and empowerment, establish partnerships with NGOs, UN
agencies, and existing global health partnerships. Eradication of polio
and Guinea worm require special priority.
Epidemiological baseline data is needed so drug treatment programmes
can be planned. Maps of endemic diseases, STIs and HIV/AIDs should be
constructed, and policy for combating malaria, TB & HIV/AIDs
determined. Strategies for trachoma, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and
other parasitic diseases should be included since drugs are available for
these infections. As displaced and possibly HIV/AIDs infected persons
return to SS, surveillance is essential and ARVs are urgently needed in
all PHC’s. The medical schools of Juba, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal
universities should relocate to the south as soon as possible. A school of
Public Health should be established to help in training and research.
Health delivery should be equitable between rural and urban and between
the regions of Sudan, and this will be much easier if returnees are
congregated in planned villages structures.
The details of the recommendations can be found at:
Moszynski P. Conference plans rebuilding of Southern Sudan's health
services BMJ 2005;331:7510; 179 (23 July),
Competing interests: None declared
Prof. Mohamed Baraka, FRCSI.
Formerly professor of Otolaryngology at King Faisal University, Saudi
Currently consultant ENT surgeon,
The Royal Lancaster Infirmary,
Lancaster LA1 4RP
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Mustafa Khogali
Professor of Family Medicine,
American University of Beirut Medical Center,
e-mail addresses: email@example.com
Professor Alan Fenwick OBE Ph.D.
Professor of Tropical Parasitology,
SCI, Imperial College,
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology,
St. Mary's Campus,
London W2 1PG
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Competing interests: No competing interests