Sticky: Sennar Field Trip- a diery of Ahmed Hakeem

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Sennar is a town on the Blue Nile in Sudan and capital of the state of Sennar

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Sennar had an estimated population of 100,000 inhabitants in the early 19th century.[1] The modern town lies SSE of the ruins of the ancient capital of the Funj Kingdom, 300 kilometres (186 miles) southeast of Khartoum
On the 1st of August 2016 we participated in a field trip  to Sennar(Wad Aunsa village) as our first activity in the MPFA With the Mycetoma Research Center.

This trip was planned  to participate in the opening of Wad Aunsa Mycetoma Center, do surgical operations and to conduct a surveillance study.

It was the first time for me to travel to a city far way from Khartoum inside Sudan.

We arrived there at Wad Aunsa at 11:00 pm.  One of the community leaders hosted us in his own house out of generosity.

The next day there was a ceremony for the opening of Wad Aunsa Mycetoma center with the presence of Sennar minister of health, federal minister of health, WHO representatives in Sudan, community leaders and senior surgeons and professors.

We were not concerned too much with the ceremony as our main task was the surveillance study. We were divided into three groups targeting three different villages. I was so lucky to be leader of one of these groups. I led my group to “Alamarat” village where we conducted our study in the first day then to “Alragal” village the next day.

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Houses are made from traditional simple materials acquired from their environment

I was surprised with what i saw. The locals are very simple . They live in a very simple and small houses. Despite the fact that they are of low socioeconomic status, they are very kind. We get invited for food at every house we enter.

People there live as one unit and one family.

a snap from a house in village with high prevalence of Mycetoma taken at a field trip in August 2016
a snap from a house in village with high prevalence of Mycetoma taken at a field trip in August 2016
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children racing barefoot most of cases are acquired by inoculation of the disease by thorn stings

The problem is that they are uneducated. They don’t know how Mycetoma is transmitted, presented or treated. They have to go long kilometers to reach the MRC far away in Khartoum city where they can get the treatment (before Wad Aunsa center is established).

Some of them have to sell their animals and leave their work(most of photo_2016-08-13_06-02-35them are farmers) to get the treatment. Some respond by just ignoring the disease until their limp gets amputated or they become disabled.

Mycetoma is not their only health problem, we find a lot of cases like rickets, malnutrition, goiter and renal stones.

 

School children in a Village near Sinnar city - Sudan
School children in a Village near Sinnar city – Sudan

One of our main goal was to educate them with mycetoma and other health problems they face. They were so cooperative and appreciate our work. Unfortunately, we visited only two villages and honestly I wanted to visit more.

I hope this study help in reducing the burden of Mycetoma in that area, and to be applied in other endemic diseases in different parts of Sudan and other countries. We all worked as one unit with one goal, sharing our ideas and experiences and enjoining most of our time at home or with the patients and Wad Aunsa people. I returned back to Khartoum with a lot of experiences, skills and memories!!! I hope i can return back there one day and help in reducing the suffer of that amazing people!

Group photo of Wad Aunsa Field trip group
Group photo of Wad Aunsa Field trip group with some villagers

 

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