Sudan | News | Meet WHO's health workers: Abdelrahman, Primary Health Care Officer in North Darfur

Meet WHO's health workers: Abdelrahman, Primary Health Care Officer in North Darfur

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Every day, WHO staff are at work saving lives and improving the health of the people of Sudan. On World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate humanitarian aid workers by shining a light on their work.

Meet Abdelrahman, Primary Health Care Officer in North Darfur.

Inspecting_achild_in_Zamzam_IDPs_camp_-_new_arrivals_areaWHO's Abdelrahman Sharief, inspecting a child in Zamzam IDP camp (Photo: Abdelrahman Sharief/WHO).

“Marhaban everyone, my name is Abdelrahamn Mohamed A. Sharief and I’ve worked for WHO Sudan’s office in El Fasher for 7 years now. I began in 2010, working on Secondary Health Care, and then moved on to HIV, CDC, Primary Health Care, and finally in 2013, acting team leader for our office.”

Can you tell us what your most impressive day was during those years?

“Sure! My strongest memory from the past seven years is one that is both sad and happy. Sad, because a life was lost that day - but happy because we were able to address the cause and save many more lives as a result.”

“I will never forget the moment. A colleague and I were visiting the state hospital in El Fasher for regular supervision and follow up. We came across the pediatric ward in the hospital, and we found a baby patient who had died because their oxygen supply had suddenly been cut off. It turned out that the root cause was a lack of funds.”

“This was unacceptable to us, so we thoroughly investigated the case and demanded purchasing oxygen concentrators for the pediatric wards and the Intensive Care, to make sure this would never happen again. Thankfully, our colleagues responded within a short time and secured the life-saving equipment - not just for our state hospital in North Darfur, but also for the other Darfur states.”

“When you see an oxygen concentrator, it may look like just another piece of equipment - but I have seen with my own eyes how these machines have saved lives of critically ill people.

Talking_to_achild_in_Shangil_Tobaya_HFAbdelrahman talking to a child in Shangil Tobaya (Photo: Abdelrahman Sharief/WHO)

Very impressive - and thank you for the work you and your fellow WHO Staff are doing! Speaking of fellow WHO Staff, is there anyone who has inspired you especially over the years? Someone you look up to?

“Oh, very many. One that stands out is Dr. Yakub Vaid, the former Head of our office in North Darfur. I remember him fondly because he was friendly with all of us, talking to all staff each day, asking about how we were doing. More than that, he encouraged us all the time to be better health workers. He taught us a lot about how to be real team players, too.

Looking forward, what would you say is your biggest hope?

“My biggest hope is to extend more of my support to the Sudanese people in need, whoever and wherever they may be. Being a health worker is my greatest passion, and I will continue to pursue it until all people, both in Sudan and the rest of the world, enjoy a healthy and happy life!”

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 40 783
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 7.2
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 311
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.5
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 65.1

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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