By Eoin English
IRELAND’S newest and Sudan’s top maternity hospitals are to twin.
Doctors and midwives from Omdurman Maternity Hospital in Khartoum arrived in Cork yesterday to spend the week at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH).
Their visit will culminate with the signing of a five-year partnership plan that will have important benefits for newborn babies, their mothers and families in Sudan where the infant mortality rate is 15 times higher than here.
The plan ultimately hopes to reduce infant and maternal mortality, to improve Omdurman's facilities and hygiene, to develop its management structure and to further the education links between both hospitals.
The link between the HSE South and the Khartoum-based hospital came through two Sudanese doctors consultant paediatrician Dr Sami Ahmed and consultant obstetrician Dr Murshid Ismail who both work in Cork hospitals.
They invited Cork neonatologist, Professor Tony Ryan, and Joanne Ryan, a neonatal resuscitation programme teacher, to Sudan in 2002 where they taught an infant resuscitation course.
"We made a commitment at that time to contribute to the hospital by way of upskilling the staff and establishing formal links with them," Prof Ryan said.
Doctors from Cork have been over twice since to deliver training.