E-ISSN 1858-8360 | ISSN 0256-4408
 

Editorial 


SUDANESE JOURNAL OF PAEDIATRICS

2021; Vol 21, Issue No. 1

EDITORIAL

Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19

Mustafa Abdalla M. Salih (1), Mohammed Osman Swar (2)

(1) International Editor, Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, Khartoum, Sudan

(2) Editor-in-Chief, Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, Khartoum, Sudan

Received: 16 February 2021 | Accepted: 18 February 2021

How to cite this article:

Salih MAM, Swar MO. Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudan J Paediatr. 2021;21(1): 2–5.

https://doi.org/10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452


Five countries belonging to three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe) are represented in the current issue of the Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics (SJP). The Cover pays tribute to the late Professor Hafiz Elshazali, the icon of paediatrics in Sudan and the Middle East and Member of the Editorial Board of SJP, who died in December 2020. A previous SJP Editorial portrayed his lifetime commitment to child health [1]. He was the first Sudanese Chairman of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum (U of K) and the first to introduce the concept of Community Paediatrics as a holistic approach in the management of a sick child [2]. Moving to Wad Medani Teaching Hospital in 1972, he became Senior Paediatrician for the Blue Nile Province (1972-1978) and then The Senior Paediatrician, Ministry of Health, Sudan (1978-1979). As Professor and Chairman, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Gezira, Sudan (1978-1979) [3], he was involved in the planning and designing the innovative problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum for the Gezira Faculty of Medicine.

Professor Hafiz Elshazali was the President of the Sudan Association of Paediatricians (SAP, 1977-1983), the President of Arab Paediatric Association (1978–1980), and the President of the Union of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Paediatric Societies (1978-1980).

He was seconded by University of Gezira, during 1983-1985, to devise a programme for training of physicians in comprehensive primary care, linked to the King Faisal University Family and Community Medicine Fellowship Programme [4]. Moving to Bahrain, he was appointed Professor and Chairman of Paediatrics, Division of Human Behaviour, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences (CMMS), Arabian Gulf University (1985-1987) [5]. He became Dean of CMMS (1987-1993), and the College managed during his tenure to finalize writing and implementing the innovative PBL curriculum. He acted as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Programme, CMMS, Arabian Gulf University for another 10 years.

Following his return to Sudan, he maintained his commitment to child health as Chairman Board of Trustees, Gaafar Ibnauf Children’s Hospital, Khartoum (2005-2010) [6], Fellow Professor of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, U of K; Professor of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ahfad University for Women; and Chairman Curriculum Committee, Sudan Medical Specialization Board (Paediatrics and Child Health).

The late Professor Hafiz Elshazali was mourned in Sudan and the Gulf Region via a prolific number of social networking sites having been the role model for how international lifetime commitment to child health should be [1].

Another saddening loss to Sudan and UK is that of Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Mukhtar, SJP Member of the International Editorial Board, who died recently following a short illness, and was described by the press as the ‘top Kettering doctor who took town and its people to his heart’ [7]. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, U of K, Sudan, and later took up an appointment as Consultant Paediatrician at Kettering General Hospital, then became medical director of the hospital trust until retiring in July 2004. He also served as Associate Examiner of the General Medical Council, High Sheriff, a deputy Lord Lieutentant, and Governor of the University of Northampton. During his visits to Sudan, he shared in the training and examinations of postgraduate students in paediatrics. He was described to be ‘a true professional, statesman-like, but always kind and approachable to patients, parents, and colleagues of all grades’ [7].

Sudanese doctors continue to offer their lives in Sudan and around the globe bravely fighting coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic [8]. Dr Hashim Ali Ahmed died of COVID-19 in December 2020, and was also mourned via a prolific number of social networking sites. As Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, he collaborated with Khartoum Cheshire Home, a major centre for the rehabilitation of disabled children, and operated for free during the weekends. A tribute by his colleagues and patients vividly described his competent and humane character. An obituary by Khartoum Cheshire Home quoted him repeatedly saying that ‘I love these children!’

One of the most recent and tragic stories is the death of Dr Gamal Osman who helped lead team treating hundreds of COVID-19 patients in Bristol, UK [9]. A tribute by his colleagues stated ‘Dr Osman was well aware that he was high risk of COVID-19 being serious for him, if he contracted the virus, but refused to leave his colleagues’, particularly as he lost his brother to COVID-19 in September 2020. It was also stated that he rallied his colleagues by saying ‘This isn’t a time for cowards’.

Within hours of his death, his devastated colleagues set up a fundraising page for his family including his wife and seven children, and within 24 hours it has passed £40,000 [9].

Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19 is vividly depicted by what happened following the saddening death of Dr Muhammad Al-Faki (Mohamed Elhassan Elfaki Osman), Member of SJP Editorial Board, and Haematology Oncology Consultant at King Saud University Medical City in Riyadh [10]. He was one of the first two doctors in Saudi Arabia who lost their lives as a result of the COVID-19. On Thursday 7/1/2021 a newly built establishment ‘Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Faki Pediatric Oncology Day Care Unit’ was inaugurated at the National Cancer Institute, University of Gezira, Wad Madani, Sudan (Figure 1). Wad Madani was chosen for its proximity to the birthplace of the deceased, and its location which facilitates the reception of patients from all over the country.

The Day Care Unit (Figures 2 and 3) was established as a charity in appreciation of his contributions and dedication to serving paediatric cancer patients, his appreciable effort to establish the Sudanese Association of Paediatric Oncology, and his humane character, which he was known for among his colleagues, patients and their families [11].

Contributions to this project were from his colleagues in Saudi Arabia, including paediatricians and nurses, patients’ families from King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh; and colleagues of the deceased in the Saudi Society for Haematology from various hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The University of Gezira designated a portion of the National Cancer Institute to create this unit [3]. The project was implemented by the Sudanese Association of Paediatric Oncology in solidarity with Rahma Al Ghaith Charity Organization in the side of engineering works.

Figure 1. Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Faki Pediatric Oncology Day Care Unit inaugurated on Thursday 7/1/2021at the National Cancer Institute, University of Gezira, Wad Madani, Sudan.

Figure 2. Part of Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Faki Pediatric Oncology Day Care Unit.

Figure 3. Playroom in Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Faki Paediatric Oncology Day Care Unit.

Figure 4. Dr Nada Osman Yousif Elhaj, the Dean of the National Cancer Institute, University of Gezira, overseeing the inauguration of Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Faki Pediatric Oncology Day Care Unit (Thursday 7/1/2021).

The unit was inaugurated on Thursday 7/1/2021 in the presence of the Governor of Gezira State, the Rector, University of Gezira; the family of the deceased; and Dr Nada Osman Yousif Elhaj, the Dean of the National Cancer Institute, University of Gezira who supervised the project (Figure 4) [12].

The establishment of Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Faki Pediatric Oncology Day Care Unit vividly reveals how the griefs of Covid-19 can be surpassed via the hope of fighting death in future generations.


REFERENCES

  1. Salih MAM, Swar MO. Article authored by three generations: international lifetime commitment to child health. Sudan J Paediatr. 2017;17(2):5–10. https://doi:10.24911/SJP.2017.2.1
  2. Shazali H, Ahmed AM, Karib A. An experiment in community approach in delivery of health services in rural areas. Sudan J Paediatr 1977;(2):10–8. Available from: https://www.sudanjp.org/uploads/9/2/7/0/9270568/an_experiment_in_community_approach.pdf. Accessed 28 January 2021.
  3. University of al-Jazirah [cited 2021 Jan 29]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_al-Jazirah#Faculty_of_Medicine
  4. King Faisal University [cited 2021 Jan 29]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Faisal_University
  5. Arabian Gulf University [cited 2021 Jan 29]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_Gulf_University
  6. Swar MO. Building Gaafar Ibnauf Children’s Hospital: Unprecedented story. Sudan J Paediatr. 2015;15(2):100–8.
  7. Tributes to top Kettering doctor who took town and its people to his heart. Northamptonshire Telegraph [cited 2021 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/health/tributes-top-kettering-doctor-who-took-town-and-its-people-his-heart-3094365
  8. Salih MAM, Swar MO. Sudanese doctors continue to offer their lives around the globe fighting coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Sudan J Paediatr. 2020;20(2):96–8.
  9. Father-of-seven doctor, 63, dies from Covid after telling colleagues ‘This isn’t a time for cowards’ and refusing move from virus treatment team when disease killed his brother. Mail Online [cited 2021 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9201975/Father-seven-doctor-60-dies-Covid-telling-colleagues-isnt-time-cowards.html
  10. Anonymous. About the cover. Sudan J Paediatr. 2020;20(2):1.
  11. Saudi Arabia mourns first doctor to die after contracting coronavirus. Arab News [cited 2021 Jan 31]. Available from: https://www.arabnews.com/node/1685066/saudi-arabia
  12. Elhaj NOY, Nugud FA, Abuagla OA, Mohamedani AA, Haroun HM. Neuroblastoma in Sudan: experience of a single institute. Sudan J Paediatr. 2020;20(2):122–5. https://doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1570515379


How to Cite this Article
Pubmed Style

Salih MAM, Swar MO. Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudan J Paed. 2021; 21(1): 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452


Web Style

Salih MAM, Swar MO. Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. http://www.sudanjp.com/?mno=56404 [Access: May 13, 2021]. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452


AMA (American Medical Association) Style

Salih MAM, Swar MO. Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudan J Paed. 2021; 21(1): 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452



Vancouver/ICMJE Style

Salih MAM, Swar MO. Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudan J Paed. (2021), [cited May 13, 2021]; 21(1): 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452



Harvard Style

Salih, M. A. M. & Swar, . M. O. (2021) Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudan J Paed, 21 (1), 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452



Turabian Style

Salih, Mustafa Abdalla M., and Mohammed Osman Swar. 2021. Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, 21 (1), 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452



Chicago Style

Salih, Mustafa Abdalla M., and Mohammed Osman Swar. "Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19." Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics 21 (2021), 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452



MLA (The Modern Language Association) Style

Salih, Mustafa Abdalla M., and Mohammed Osman Swar. "Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19." Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics 21.1 (2021), 2-5. Print. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452



APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Salih, M. A. M. & Swar, . M. O. (2021) Thinking beyond the griefs of COVID-19. Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, 21 (1), 2-5. doi:10.24911/SJP.106-1613467452





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