The Mycetoma Patients Vocational Training Centre Groundbreaking Ceremony

On the 18th of October 2020, the Mycetoma Patients Friends Association (MPFA) had the honour to organise with the Japan Embassy in Khartoum the Mycetoma Patients Vocational Training Centre (MPVTC) groundbreaking ceremony at the Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC), Soba University Hospital of the University of Khartoum under the patronage of HE Professor Intisar Soghayroun El-Zein, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The MPVTC is part of the Grass-Root project sponsor by the Japan Government.

At the start of the event, the MRC staff welcomed the visitors, and then the centre’s activities were screened in several short videos. Professor Fahal, MRC Director, welcomed the honourable guests and expressed his gratitude to the MRC supporting bodies, friends and funders, specifically the Japan Embassy in Sudan in supporting this project. Also, he extended his thankfulness to other embassies and bodies for their sympathetic support. He then gave an account on the MPVTC future functions and activities. Furthermore, he gave a brief talk on the proposed Mycetoma Culture Heritage Village, which the MPVTC is part of. The village aims to employ and engage many of the mycetoma sufferers in its activities to lead a new life.

Then the president of MPFA, Mr Abdalrazig Osman, reflected upon the Association objectives and functions and its role in relieving the struggle and suffering of the mycetoma patients. He enumerated the Association activities to relieve the patients' misery, disabilities, and stigma. As most of the mycetoma present late with advanced disease ending in massive surgical excisions and for many of them, amputation may be the only available treatment. He stated that the association has succeeded in including more than 1000 patients under the National Health Insurance umbrella. It also supported 300 mycetoma amputees with the installation of artificial limbs and many other activities. Mr Abdalrazig expressed his gratitude to the Japanese Embassy in Sudan for its kind donations for the proposed vocational training centre, which aims to reintegrate these patients into society and transform them into productive individuals with new hopes and aspirations.

In addressing the opening ceremony, Professor Fadwa A. Rahman Ali Taha, the University of Khartoum Vice-Chancellor, appreciated the huge efforts done by the MRC and its staff as a leading University of Khartoum research institute. She flagged the university support for community-based scientific research and engagement.

HE Mr Takashi Hattori, the Ambassador of Japan in Sudan, gave a speech filled with words of happiness for laying the foundation stone for the vocational centre as it is a unique idea and emphasised the fact that his country will continue to support the project for the good cause of the rehabilitation and training of Mycetoma disabled persons to start a life of hopes and optimism.

HE the Federal Minister of Health, Dr Osama Ahmed Abdul Rahim admired the University of Khartoum energetic efforts in linking scientific research with the community demands. His Excellency had also appraised Soba University Hospital as one of the distinguished hospitals the country. He gave his full support to the MRC and the proposed new vocational training centre. He also commended the excellent efforts done the many supporters to support the MRC to enable it to support patients care, research and community engagement.

In her speech during the ceremony, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Professor Intisar Soghayroun El-Zein, weighed upon what she called the Mycetoma Research Center inspiring and success story. She continued by describing it as the fruition of the hard work done by local and international cooperation and community support. She also expressed her thanks to the Japanese embassy for their support for the project.

During this event, 17 of the MRC supporters, friends and volunteers were honoured for their great support and contributions to the MRC over the years and among them were Prof  A Malik Mohamed A Rahman the past University of Khartoum Vice-Chancellor and Mrs Kamala Ishage, the International fine artist

After the Groundbreaking process their excellencies the Ministers of  Higher Education and Scientific Research and Health, Ambassadors of Japan, France, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Pakistan and Egypt, University of Khartoum Vice-Chancellor and several NGOs had planted trees in the names of their countries and ministries and institutions.

The event had ended with nice and attractive Sudanese traditional folklore, dance and music. The MRC staff are thankful and grateful to the sincere and kind words and testimonials given by the noble ministers, ambassadors, and guests. They are looking forward for close and sincere collaboration with all stakeholders for better patient care and support.