We slept solidly that night and I greeted the Tim and Rich on the banks of the Nile just shy of lunch time. Shortly after 2pm we were greeted by Oromo, who drove us back to JTH.
We drove in the South Gate and I gazed upon the Outpatients Department. It was Sunday afternoon and was therefore not too busy. Oromo took a left and down the road, past the Nurse Training Centre and we stopped at a half finished building. “This,” Oromo said triumphantly “is the new Postgraduate Training Centre.” We entered through the main entrance and I looked around. There was building material everywhere and no roof but the building had walls and a strong foundation. “Here is the reception.” Oromo outlined. “And here,” he said pointing his finger opposite whilst stood in a central courtyard “is the Main Lecture theatre.” He went on to show us where the library would be, computer rooms, teaching and practical rooms and other areas. I gazed around me in wonder. It was due to be finished by March 2013.
Following a brief visit to the nearly completed St Mary’s Juba Link bungalow, we drove back to the Juba Bridge hotel, driving through Konyo Konyo Market so that Rich could see what life was like in Juba’s main shopping ‘centre.’ People from all walks of life were peddling their wares from charcoal, to cutlery, fine furnitures from Uganda, and solar panels. The air smelt of dust, sweat, cured meat and fish.
We grabbed a drink and sat down under the mango trees in the shade, watching the Nile lazily floating by. I decided to ask a question that had been troubling me for some time. “Oromo, what do you see as being the main role of the Train the Trainer (TOT) Teaching tomorrow?”
“You know, this teaching is going to be the genesis of postgraduate training. In it we will learn the UK ways of teaching and supervising our juniors. It will also teach us the structure of medical education, how to form a College, rules, functions, roles and curriculum design.”
Rich and I looked at each other and Rich raised an eyebrow. We had designed teaching that would teach people how to teach and how to be a good educational supervisor. We had not touched upon rules, functions, and governing bodies. Furthermore we were both well aware that covering curriculum design would be a three day course in itself.
“Tomorrow,” Oromo continued “there will be a ceremony and the Minister of Health will be present, along with the Undersecretary and national television.” He went on to tell us about the meticulous preparations that had gone into organising the whole affair, including running JTH with a skeleton team of consultants in each specialty so that the rest could attend.
It was the anticipated beginning for postgraduate medical training.