“Who am I? That’s a complicated question. What I know for now, is that I am a doctor.
A few days ago, EMERGENCY were invited to take part in one of the most important meetings on cardiology on the African continent: the Pan-African Society of Cardiology’s yearly conference in Khartoum, Sudan.
Alessandro, our Medical Coordinator, reported the results of the first ten years at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery: over 7,000 operations and more than 60,000 heart examinations. Furthermore, thanks to agreements with health ministries, our staff are now organising screening missions throughout Africa. Today, the patients operated on at the Salam Centre come from 28 countries.
Everybody was speechless when they were told our treatment is completely free. ‘How can you manage to do all this?’ was the question asked by many doctors we met. To show them, we invited them to our hospital, where Luca, Regional Programme Coordinator for the Salam Centre, gave them a tour of our work.
‘After ten years training students without any official certification, we have been accredited as a specialist centre in anaesthesia, heart surgery and cardiology. We have also set up a master’s course in intensive therapy nursing. We are very happy with these results,’ Luca explains to the visiting African heart surgeons at the Salam Centre. ‘And we are proud to announce that the first group of trainees are beginning their specialist course.’
As in many African countries, in the last few years Sudan has suffered a great deal from medical workers emigrating abroad. ‘As in all EMERGENCY hospitals, training fills a very important role. Our hope is to one day be able to leave the hospital’s management in the hands of locals. For this reason, it is essential to train young Sudanese people as medical professionals,’ Luca continues.