Representatives of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Sudan have visited St Petersburg University. The purpose of the visit was to discuss cooperation in medicine, as well as the training of highly qualified specialised doctors.
Welcoming the guests at the oldest university in the country, Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University, said that the University is a worldwide modern research and educational centre. It provides training in all fields of science. One of the key priorities of development at present is biomedicine. This year, the Clinic of High Medical Technologies has become the part of the University. Its doctors do not only see their patients, but also conduct research in various fields of medicine. Sergey Andryushin noted that medical scientists of St Petersburg University are interested in cooperating with the University of Khartoum in the study of diseases common in this region.
Abdala Abu Kirim, a representative of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Sudan, said that a lot of the graduates of Soviet universities, who received education in the field of engineering and medicine, today hold important government jobs. According to the representative of the Sudanese delegation, the most promising areas of cooperation at the moment seem to be: joint clinical research; the exchange of doctors; and the training of highly specialised medical personnel. There is now a shortage of specialists in certain areas of medicine in Sudan. A sufficiently large number of universities train general practitioners, but postgraduate training in narrower areas appeared only just over 20 years ago. In particular, there is a clear shortage of specialists in almost 15 surgical areas in the country. For example, due to the insufficient number of neurosurgeons, people have to wait for the operation for several years.
Sergey Andryushin replied that St Petersburg University is ready to cooperate with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Sudan in the proposed areas, including the training of highly qualified specialists. As part of this cooperation, he reported on the possibility of developing academic programmes for advanced training upon the request of external organisations. So, although degree programmes of the University in the field of medicine are taught mainly in Russian, a new programme, if necessary, can be taught entirely in English.
At the end of the meeting, the parties expressed their intention to conclude an agreement on training specialists for the Sudan health system in the future. To discuss this issue in more detail, the parties will have a Russian-Sudanese videoconference.