1 July 2011 – As part of effort to transform the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) into a professional force, UNMIS in partnership with AECOM management services firm conducted an emergency life support course for 10 SPLA doctors today at the Bangladeshi hospital in Juba.
Carried out by 10 Bangladeshi doctors and an international volunteer from Juba Teaching Hospital, the activity was funded by an AECOM project supporting SPLA medical services and training. Topics included cardio pulmonary emergencies, loss of consciousness, shock, drowning and electric shock.
Attending the graduation ceremony were UNMIS Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General Jasbir Lidder, Bangladesh Sector Commander Col. Sumon Kumar Barua, Civil Affairs Principal Officer Sylvia Fletcher, SPLA Dr. Arikangelo Ayisa Mona, AECOM representatives and other dignitaries.
Speaking in the closing ceremony, Mr. Lidder highlighted the importance of the training in climbing the ladder of professionalism.
“As the SPLA now transform itself from guerrilla into professional national army, such initiatives would be cumulatively very contributory towards building professionalism in the SPLA across the board,” said Mr. Lidder. “The medical profession of course forms a very important part of military everywhere.”
With ethnic and cattle conflicts as well as the marauding Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army still plaguing Southern Sudan, strengthening SPLA doctors will help save the lives of civilians and soldiers who my fall victim to attacks or other misfortunes.
“It was very wonderful and effective,” SPLA medical corps participant Capt. Ayol G. Ayol. “Without this training, even if you graduate and study medicine, you may not know basic emergency life support.”
Bangladeshi Col. Barua said his contingent felt obliged to help strengthen SPLA personnel capacity in life support. “We consider ourselves lucky to be part of nation building. I believe this brotherhood between the SPLA and the Bangladeshis will continue.”
Now equipped with the necessary skills, participants believed they would now be capable of saving the lives of people who were injured or suffering from an acute disease before a surgeon could attend to them.
“As a doctor in the army I am now able to go to the frontline and help the injured,” said Mr. Ayol.
Expressing his appreciation, SPLA medical corps Dr. Arikangelo Ayisa Mona said, “I know the challenges we are having (and) I hope this type of cooperation will continue. We will always welcome any helping hand.”