Sunday, June 14, 2009
Malakal is a city in the north of Southern Sudan, and lies on a point of intersection between the country’s three main ethnic group territories. It is also located right on the Nile, making it an easy destination for the transport of goods. Oh also, it has oil. Quite a dangerous combination of factors.
We arrived here last Sunday, and have been working hard on trainings in the hospital. The hospital administration and local NGOs have been so helpful in finding us trainees. We had over thirty-five midwives attend our afternoon sessions, every day of the week. Some came in from other regions and far off rural areas just to attend. I was able to teach two lessons this week- a review of neonatal resuscitation, and a lesson on pediatric diarrheal illness (appropriate, given my current gastrointestinal distress resulting from my overambitious decision to eat the local salad).
Our morning sessions were for medical officers (equivalent to Residents) and head nurses. Most of the medical officers are from the North, and have contractual agreements with the Government of Southern Sudan. This is great because there is a serious lack of physicians in the country, but bad, because the government has neglected to pay them for the past nine months or so. Most are planning to leave.