I was delighted to finally meet with my colleagues – now friends – in Khartoum recently! Working with Prof Asma Elsony, Dr Rashid Osman, Hana El Sadig and the whole team was nothing but a pleasure from start to finish.
Asma, with her strategic vision, invited key research personnel in the immediate network as well as senior leaders and students from 5 states in Sudan to learn about spirometry and the importance of this key pulmonary function test in assessing, diagnosing and monitoring respiratory disease. As a result, there is a wave of activity taking place in the public sector in Sudan to better respiratory health care practices and the lives of the recipients of these services. It is amazing!
A 4-day Foundational Spirometry Training Certificate of Competence Short Course was followed by a half day data Quality Assurance and Over-reading workshop in the city where the Blue and White Nile Rivers meet. Training was facilitated by Lindsay Zurba of the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS) under the Lung Health across the Life course (LuLi) project, which is part of the larger network, the International Multidisciplinary Programme to Address Lung Health & TB in Africa (IMPALA) in Khartoum from the 14 – 18 October 2019. Additionally, we thank the Dean and his team at the University of Africa for allowing us to host an evening workshop for the medical students. What fun we had that night introducing this seemingly simple test only to find how difficult it can be to take a big breath in and blow all your air out hard and fast in a way that meets the standards required for spirometry testing!
Thank you Asma and Hanaa for buying in so fully to the training that the entire manual was translated into Arabic. Thank you to our new Sudanese spirometry trainee facilitator Rashid Osman for your assistance throughout the training. Thank you to our LuLi and IMPALA sponsors who have always supported our efforts 110% and mostly thank you to every one of these amazingly committed students who were as bright and interactive as can be and showed up on the weekend to complete the learning.
I loved my time in Khartoum and I know that most the best is most definitely yet to come in Sudan. I can’t wait to see you again. (Lindsay Zurba 28 October 2019)