Hellen, a third-year
FDSS medical student
studying in Kenya
equipment, establishing sustainable pipelines for medications and
supplies, and training local surgeons to provide ongoing care.
What are the strengths that Fellows of the ACS have to offer
in terms of providing health care to the underserved?
As surgeons, we have a tendency to want to be heroic. That
inclination is noble and may feel rewarding, but we should also
understand that the impact of providing health care during disasters or unstable political situations is transient. My belief is that
our greatest contributions are those that provide education and
help local governments develop sustainable solutions.
What’s next for FDSS?
We believe the most pressing need at this time is to support as
many South Sudanese students as possible to attend medical school
and then to obtain postgraduate training. These individuals will
become the doctors who create a better health care future for South
Sudan. Financial support for their education is critically needed;
FDSS continues its efforts to identify funding sources in order to
support more students.
In the meantime, we have great hope that the political turmoil in South Sudan will stabilize, at which point we are well
prepared to work with South Sudanese leaders to implement the
development of a new tertiary care teaching hospital. From then
on, partnerships to help develop clinical programs as well as medical school and surgical specialty training will be invaluable. ♦
1. World Health Organization. South
Sudan. Available at: www.who.int/
Accessed July 15, 2016.
2. World Health Organization. Public Health
Risk Assessment and Interventions: Conflict
and Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan.
January 13, 2014. Available at: www.who.
pdf. Accessed July 15, 2016.
3. World Health Organization. Country
Cooperation Strategy at a Glance: South
Sudan. May 2014. Available at: www.who.
ccsbrief_ssd_en.pdf. Accessed July, 15, 2016.
4. World Health Organization. South Sudan.
2014. Available at: www.who.int/nmh/
countries/ssd_en.pdf?ua= 1. Accessed July