Category Archives: Sudan

Humbled. Elated. Empowered.

Blog by ISUOG Ambassador and Trainer Reem S. Abu-Rustum

Humbling. Elating. Empowering. That is how I would describe my first Outreach mission with ISUOG to Sudan.

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Gesu Antonio Baez introducing ISUOG Outreach

From the moment our team of trainers met, it was obvious how compatible we all were with our different ethnic backgrounds and personal experiences. Under the watchful eye of ISUOG’s phenomenal Gesu Antonio Baez, and the leadership of insightful Dr. Mirghani, we knew that this was destined to be a most impactful mission for all involved.

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On the Lakeshore of Rahad

Humbling it was to be received by the warmest most genuine people of Sudan who welcomed us like royalty, and escorted us with pride all over Al Obeid and North Kordofan State. Despite the logistical challenges, they made sure we had the most comfortable accommodations and an organized clinic set up with all the necessities in place, not to mention the unforgettable “Jebana” coffee. The Minister of Health, his Excellency Dr. Abdullah Faki Omer, never left our team: from receiving us at the airport to escorting us as we departed. Dr. Khidir was the driving force behind our entire mission on the Obeid front: the true embodiment of commitment and dedication.

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Rahad Lake

Elating it was to have the privilege to participate in the sonographic education of 30 most dedicated Ob/Gyn and Radiology Physicians who had come from all over North Kordofan State to attend our 5 intense days. We had their undivided attention whether it was during the didactic or the hands-on sessions. They had such a hunger and eagerness to learn, and were so receptive to any instruction or criticism to help them improve their sonographic skills. The trainees were divided into 4 groups and rotated on a daily basis with the trainers. On the last day, each team of trainees ended up with their trainer from the first day. I had the “Red Team” and it was amazing to have them back with me on the last day: the progress they had made was unbelievable. They were secure and confident in utilizing the systematic 6 Steps Approach, were able to recognize key anatomical landmarks and were able to manipulate the probe to arrive at the required biometric planes.

Dr. Samira Demonstrating 6 Steps and the Red Team

Empowering it was to be able to play a role, albeit indirect and quite small, in the future of the mothers of Sudan. Visiting the labor ward at the Al Obeid new Maternity Hospital, a referral center for the area, offered us a glimpse of the challenging conditions faced by both physicians and patients. Though all the basic necessities are met, the patients have to secure and purchase key “material” for labor, and they are usually discharged 2 hours postpartum to make room for the other 15-20 daily parturients, not counting the cesarean deliveries. Nonetheless, there is an unshakable commitment from the Sudanese Government led by the Ministry of Health, and an army of health care providers dedicated to improving the maternal and neonatal mortality rates and their co-morbidities. It was most empowering for me, as a member of the ISUOG Outreach Team, to be a part of Sudan’s vision for a future where every woman has access to a properly performed sonographic examination in order to identify and safeguard against the major contributors to maternal morbidity and mortality.

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Our Entire Team

Humbled. Elated. Empowered. That is how I feel. That is what Sudan and its beautiful people have left me with. I feel honored and privileged and I eagerly look forward to our next mission amongst the most gracious Sudanese…

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Closing Ceremony 

 

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Anomaly scans and ready hands: Day 3 in Sudan

Day Three of the Outreach Program in Sudan had an exciting start! After a lecture on placental assessment by Prof. Hisham Mirghani, the trainees broke off into their teams. Outreach Trainer Yasmin Casmod’s group identified two anomaly scans (one which was oligohydramnios with abnormally large eyes and heart), which had to be immediately consulted over to Dr Sami Mahmoud to oversee and recommend follow up accordingly.

(Attentive trainees, Dr Angela Ranzini explaining fetal anatomy in 2nd and 3rd trimester and Dr Sami Mahmoud explaining a scan; images courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

The trainees in Dr Reem Abu-Rustum’s group today were completely enthusiastic on scanning and encouraged her to show them new techniques even beyond the practical session.

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(Dr Reem Abu-Rustum explaining Fetal Biometry; image courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

Lectures continued the following morning on practical sessions, covering topics such as Fetal Growth, Fetal Anatomy and Amniotic fluid index.

Stay tuned as the ISUOG Outreach program in Sudan continues!

Day 2 in Sudan: practical training

We’re on with day two with ISUOG Outreach in Sudan. The morning saw practical training for the most part, with trainees divided amongst the trainers. Each group had an average of six patients and the instructors focused on helping trainees understand how they will be assessed on ultrasound competency.

(ISUOG trainers in action; image courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

The trainees also conducted a pre-test in 1st and 2nd/3rd trimester ultrasound in order to measure and understand their current knowledge in OB/GYN ultrasound scanning. Lectures today focused on early pregnancy, 1st trimester and abnormal pregnancies. The team had the chance to hear a lecture on abnormal early pregnancy from Observer and Trainer, Dr Sami Mahmoud who is Secretary General of the African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AFOG).

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(Dr Sami Mahmoud with the team; image courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

The trainees are enthusiastic and very focused, with hands raised in eagerness to understand more. The team has only made a scratch in the Sudan program, but already progress can be seen. Stay tuned!!

Day 1 in Sudan and ready to learn

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(ISUOG Ambassador and Trainer Hisham Mirghani speaking to trainees; image courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

Sunday the 13th of November kicked off the ISUOG Outreach program in El Obeid, Sudan with 30 trainees eager to get started at the Planned Parenthood Headquarters in El Obeid. The morning began with an opening ceremony, presented by the Minister of Health, Dean of the University of Kordofan, along with ISUOG Ambassador Hisham Mirghani and ISUOG International Development Coordinator Gesu Antonio Báez. This was followed by a practical scanning session. And the sessions were big – up to 70 patients were in the waiting room ready to be scanned by the trainees who were also eager to learn.

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(Hands on training with ISUOG Trainer Yasmin Casmod; image courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

MindRay generously loaned two machines to the program to enhance the training experience. The rest were provided from local hospitals and were functioning in full form!

Each trainee was divided into groups based on their years of experience with ultrasound in order to provide a tailored approach to their learning. This also allowed them to get to know other trainees who came from afar – some travelled up to five hours from other parts of Sudan!

Dr Reem Abu-Rustum ended the day with theoretical training by going over the “Six Step Method”.  Prof Mirgani demonstrated how to properly handle the probe, Yasmin Casmod covered knoblology and Dr Angela Ranzini spoke about Fetal Biometry.

With day one already a success, the group looks forward to taking the scanning skills of the groups to next level. With hope, it will be a successful week to follow, or as they say in this part of the world “inshallah”.

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(ISUOG Trainer and Ambassador Reem Abu-Rustum with trainees; image courtesy of G.A Báez for ISUOG Outreach)

The purpose of the ISUOG Outreach project to Sudan is to provide ultrasound training to local OB/GYN practitioners with the intention that these trainees eventually become local trainers.

Phase I comprises of three week-long training programs, which will take place in a 12-18 month time frame with a space of 6 months between training. Between training, trainees will be mentored by designated trainers from the project team to provide guidance on scanning. By the end of Phase I, trainees will be competent in ultrasound scanning techniques and conduct quality scans in line with basic training outreach templates (SO2).

For more information on the goals and outputs on the program see http://www.isuog.org/Outreach/Projects/Sudan/Sudan+1.htm

ISUOG Outreach is off to Sudan!

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(From left to right: The Sudan Outreach Team – Prof. Hisham Mirghani, Dr. Reem Abu-Rustum, Dr. Angela Ranzini, Ms. Yasmin Casmod and Mr. Gesu Antonio Baez – ISUOG’s International Development Coordinator)

We’ve got more news and we’re excited to share with you!

ISUOG Outreach is proud to announce its first program taking place in El Obeid, Sudan from 13-17 November 2017. Led by ISUOG Ambassador to UAE and the Middle East, Prof. Hisham Mirghani (UAE/Sudan), the team comprises of Ms. Yasmin Casmod (South Africa), Dr. Angela Ranzini (USA) and ISUOG’s Ambassador to Outreach in Lebanon and the Middle East, Dr. Reem Abu-Rustum (Lebanon). ISUOG’s International Development Coordinator, Gesu Antonio Baez, will also be joining the team in coordinating the project and working with key stakeholders on the ground.

The team will be training 28 trainees from North Khordofan State with the aim to have them become future trainers in OB/GYN ultrasound locally over time. ISUOG Outreach is very grateful to partner with Salamat Doctors Charity, the University of Kordofan and the Sudanese Ministry of Health on this endeavor.

Watch this space as more updates come up as the project develops. For more information on the project, please visit our website.