Reflections on Khartoum Teaching Hospital

IMG_4506.JPG Courtesy of Sudan Rasd

Reflections on Khartoum Teaching Hospital

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

Khartoum Teaching Hospital (KTH) or the former Khartoum Civil Hospital (KCH) established in the year 1909 by the then British colonial administration and seems to have coincided with the founding of the  Gordon Memorial College proposed  by Lord Kitchener of Khartoum of founding a college in memory of General Gordon Pasha and was officially opened in 1902. The Khartoum Teaching Hospital is not an idol worshiped as has been said, but an institute of medical knowledge and treatment of the sons and daughters of the country along the past (100) years. Khartoum Teaching Hospital occupies an important site in the heart of Khartoum between groups of the main streets. They include the Palace Street that separating it from the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy of University of Khartoum. Here is where the two domes of Sir Lee Stack Laboratory and Lord Kitchener Medical School, facing each other. Then come Sayed Abdul Rahman al- Mahdi Street, Railroad Avenue/ the Sudan Armed Forces Street, and Meck Nimir Street. However, and according to historian like Suleiman Kishshah, in 1905 the authorities began to build a hospital for civilians, called the hospital as Khartoum Civil Hospital, and initially opened in the first place in 1901 in a house near the old mosque; the current building has served since 1909. The British founded the Medical School in Khartoum as a memorial to Lord Kitchener. Sir Lee Stack opened it in 1924. The aims and objects included:

  • (a) To train carefully selected students of the Gordon Memorial College as doctors in order that they may carry out Medical and Health work in their own country, and thus not only to bring medical help within the reach of the large number of their own countrymen who are out of reach of all medical assistance, but also by preventive measures to raise the general standard of health throughout the country,
  • (b) As the need arises, to provide post-graduate classes for doctors who have been trained at this School
  • (c) By working in close co-operation with the Medical Research Laboratories, to inculcate the spirit of clinical research and to afford facilities for such research to graduates who show this aptitude
  • Care was taken to limit the number of students. Thus when the School opened ten were admitted. In 1925, there were eight new students. In 1926, no fresh students were enrolled, but in January 1927, ten new students from the Gordon College commenced the first year course of studies. The students are under close surveillance. Those who fail in their examinations are either referred back for a further course of study in the subjects wherein they have failed to satisfy the examiners or, if deemed wholly unsuitable, are recommended to discontinue their studies and are given Government employment.

My first contact with the  Khartoum Teaching Hospital (KTH)  was in October 1964  at the time of  the breakout of the Glorious Sudanese October 21 Revolution when the military junta security force shot and killed my classmate late Ahmed al-Gurashi Taha. We the University of Khartoum Students spent the night in front of the hospital Mortuary. We were in guard and custody of the body of the martyr colleague, thinking that the military regime of the General Ibrahim Abboud might try to smuggle the body out for its fear that the students would take the body as a pretext for popular uprising next morning.

My second contact with the (KTH) was when I became a fourth-year medical student – a clinical student at the Khartoum University Medical School and a bedside medical training mandatory. The British physician Professor Hoff Morgan (H. V. Morgan) Professor was the first to introduce us to basics of General Medicine (Internal Medicine) supervised our group. Dr. Abubakr Mohammed al-Amin was an internist at the hospital and a lecturer at the Medical School was our trainer in General Medicine during our Fourth Year. Ever since our training continued for a duration spanning for three years of fourth, Fifth and sixth years as undergraduate clinical medical students. During the period, we had training in all the branches of clinical medicine; that included General Medicine, Neurology, General Surgery, Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry and Dermatology. Of our Most Celebrated trainers and teachers included Professor Daoud Mustafa, whereas Professor M. F.  Nicolls was instrumental in

The third time I came in contact with the olden  Khartoum Teaching Hospital (KTH)  in 1970  when I was graduated from the Faculty of Medicine (F of M) University of Khartoum and worked for 9 months as a House Office. I spent three months in  each of the three disciplines of Internal Medicine, General Surgery and Psychiatry as part of my job with  the Ministry of Health.

My Fourth contact with KTH when I joined the (F of M) as a Teaching Assistant in the Dept. of Psychiatry.

My Fifth contact with the KTH was when I returned from the United Kingdom and joined the Dept. of Psychiatry as a Lecturer in the (F of M) and a specialist in clinical Psychiatry working for the Khartoum Teaching Hospital (KTH)

Time passed accelerating through the years. I suppose one was fortunate to have  had a high quality medical education and clinical training at the Faculty of Medicine, Khartoum University and Khartoum Teaching Hospital respectively. . Sadly, some of those Sudanese Medical Giants have passed away, God bless them and those who continue tirelessly to give a helping hand generously, we ask Allah to offer them longevity coupled with wellness and good health. Their list will be long and they are too many to recount. The following are some of the names I managed to recall:

Professor Daoud Mustafa Khalid, Nicknamed the Sudan’ Father of Medicine, an excellent clinician and an outstanding teacher; Professor Ahmed Mohammed Hassan, Professor H.V Morgan, a British physician, brilliant scientist and an outstanding medical educator, Professor Anis Mohammed Ali al-Shami, Head Department of Preventive & Public Health Professor late Siddig Ahmed Ismail,  Dr. Abubakr Ahmed al-Amin, Professor Bashir Arbab, Professor El-Sheikh Mahjoub,  Dr. Abideen Sharaf, Dr. Hussein Dr. Nour Abdelmagid, Professor Tigani al-Mahi, Dr. Taha Ahmed Baasher, Dr. Amin Ali Nadeem, Professor Hassan Haj Ali Ibrahim,  Dr. Abulgasim Saad, Professor Abubakr Ahmed al-Amin, Professor Ibrahim Abdel-Aziz , Professor Mohammed Ahmed Hassan Abdelgalil, Professor Abdel-al  Abdalla Osman, Professor Ali Kambal, Professor Bakheit Mohammed Omer, Dr. Abdel Hameed Wasfi, Dr. Abdelrazag Mubarak, Dr. Mohammed Hassan Jabir, Mr. Kamal Zaki, Mr. Abdelrahim Mohammed Ahmed, Mr. Adam Fadlalla, Mr. Ibrahim Abdelaziz, Mr. Ahmed Abdelaziz Yagoub, Mr. Osman Awadalla, Dr. Osman Mudawi, Dr. Suleiman Mudawi, Dr. Mahmoud Mohammed al-Hassan , Dr. Tahir Fadul -anaesthesia specialist, Dr. Asim Zaki, Professor Hafiz al-Shazali Osman, , Professor M. F. Nicolls -a urological surgeon, Professor al-Hadi Ahmed al-Sheikh, Dr. Abulgasim Saad, Dr. Hassan Towfig, Dr. Sheikh Idriss Abdel-Rahim,  Dr. Mohamed Hamad Satti,  Dr. Towfig al-Deeb, Dr. Sayed Daoud, Dr. Subhi al-Hakim, Dr. Mohammed Hassan Abubakr and many others who had contributed immensely in our training and teaching in medicine with sincerity and impartiality  free of charge.

My reflections on the Khartoum Teaching Hospital (KTH) come against the backdrop of Hundreds of Khartoum Teaching Hospital workers staging a rally and protesting against the attempt of the Khartoum State Ministry of Health of dismantling and drying the historic reference health facility and the destruction of the ” chive”,  calling for its permanence, eternity and survival. Therefore, these reflections  will address the (KTH) in a wider context. The Sudan Medical Association and the hospital staff say that the purpose for which the Ministry planned the fragmentation of the hospital on the pretext of the so-called Devolution is unjustified and it is a right that intended for falsehood.  They said that the removal the (KTH) – ‘castle of medicine’ – out of the health services is for the sake of greedy crony investors. One of the staunch fans of (KTH) said: “O Khartoum hospital stay well and have God’s help; you are who fathered the late Professor, Daoud Mustafa Khalid, father of internal medicine in Sudan, and the late Professor El-Daw Mukhtar, and many others; the list goes on”!.  Transfer of dialysis machines from Khartoum Teaching Hospital emergency department to   elsewhere as a clear determination of the authorities to dismantle the Hospital beyond repair. Closure of KTH has become eminent. Under the threat of the  weapons of the police and  the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) the water purification plant for dialysis, now been transferred  while the General Trade Union of workers Khartoum Teaching Hospital rejects and complaints against the police, and delivered a speech of objection to what has been of Ire and taking a  legal action. Thus, the actual steps for final shut down of the Khartoum Teaching Hospital began. The regime of the National Salvation Revolution led by the Génocidaire and war criminal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir Sentenced to death the kidney patients in Khartoum Teaching Hospital through taking away the Renal Dialysis Machines on 01.08.2014, in a complete premeditated crime of murder, Leader of Sudanese Doctors Union in the UK & Ireland said. Email to The Sudanese Doctors Union is out in full swing to defend the survival of the KTH. Khartoum Teaching Hospital workers will follow suit to stand firmly against drying honored hospital. In these circumstances, which could devastate Khartoum Teaching Hospital of existence by a government corruption I cannot just sit in the sidewalk and see look far away and just recall  some memories from the golden past.

The hospital staff continued their demonstrations against the sale and dismantling of the Khartoum Teaching Hospital, which launched by the authorities of the State of Khartoum before the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, on, August 5, 2014. Workers, doctors and hospital administrators roared the arenas chanting slogans and denounced the attempt to sell and the dismantling of the Khartoum Teaching Hospital along the lines of (the hospital dying, why is the silence), (transferring the services is right word intended for falsehood), (O resign You the  Boring), (Power of the workers is the Strength)! These are random arbitrary decisions based on arrogance and tyranny taken by the Ministry of the State of Khartoum against the aspirations and the will of the Sudanese citizens.


Sudan prior to the secession of its Southern region


Sudan after the secession of its Southern region that became the Republic of South Sudan


The time to cry over spilled milk came when we see the map before the secession of South Sudan!


قديما غنت مغنية An old Sudanese lady Singer sang, in memory of the past old good days of medical practice and medical services in Khartoum Civil hospital, its successor Khartoum Teaching Hospital.

The first thing that the song showed us in this partial is that the grandma – or Habbouba- grandmother had visited the hospital to seek hospitalization in the afternoon. This means that the accident and emergency (A&E) of the Khartoum Civil Hospital (KCH) and its clinics were receiving patients throughout the hours of the day.  Of course, this is natural and normal but unusual to be greeted by two senior specialists at the hospital; Dr. Hoff Morgan and Dr. Daoud Mustafa!

The song says in a Sudanese Arabic dialect: (Blalinaaaa. I am out for the Civil Hospital in the afternoon (Assur) of that day. I mounted a car, which took me to the ‘CIVIL”; the doctors examined me and said: your infliction is due to Love and thus no surgical operation can help! A doctor named Hoff spoke in his mother tongue language (English) while Dr. Daoud smiled and said Love fortunes and passion is destiny, O my Heart!

It is Nostalgia for the “golden age” of healthcare in Sudan’s former Khartoum Civil Hospital as a model and a desire to raise grievances altruistically! It was the time when patients were not passed from pillar to post. Services should run to work in the best interests of patients who held trust and high perception of doctors.

One of them carried the bad news to another, he says: (They said Khartoum University and the University of Niles pulled specialist doctors belonging to them matter by telephone. Does this mean the sick and poor people die without medical attention and then what?   The Workers Association President, said (Khartoum Teaching Hospital is the property of the Sudanese people, and when it was created there were not there, Khartoum State) and he added that the dismantling of the hospital is doing harm to the citizen under the deteriorating economic situation. He added and pointed out that the Department of accidents is the only section that offers services free of charge as well as provide a unit of unknowns and unconscious and unidentified beside his ability to receive Victims of traffic accidents, and others, and that is due to its proportionately higher  capacity of Reception.



الملكية Civil

Khartoum Civil Hospital

كتبت  منى سليمان عن مستشفى الخرطوم الملكي  على لسان حبوبة (جدة) شاعرة

منى سلمان

مستشفى الخرطوم .. ما بتنفعا العملية

قديما غنت مغنية :

بلاليناااا .. مرقت يوم عصرية .. ركبت لي عربية   ودوني للملكية .. الدكاترة كشفوا علي

قالوا لي اذاك الحب وما بتنفع العملية هوف رطن .. داؤود بسم .. قال لي قسم  والريد قسم يا عنيّي                                م

اذن الاغنية تحكي عن حال حبوبتنا  أو الجدة الشاعرة المغنية رهيفة القلب مرهفة المشاعر، والتي كانت تعاني لواعج من الحب، من شدة اعراضها توهمت المسكينة بأنها مريضة بعلة في القلب، وتحتاج للذهاب الى الاستشفاء ليس في اي مركز صحي مجاور، ولكن شدة مكنتها اجبرتها على ان (تمتطي) عربية وتتوجه لمستشفى الخرطوم الملكي – حتة واحدة ! طبعا اذا كانت الاعراض مصابة بخمة نفس وبتباتة وزيادة خفقان لابد ان توحي بأن الحكاية تحتاج لاخصائي كبير في علل الباطنية والقلب ولكن كما اتضح لاحقا عندما قابلت كبار الاخصائيين الذين تبسموا في وجهها واقنعوها بانها جات سليمة، وان كل اعراضها ترجع لتعرض قلبها للاذى الجسيم بفعل الحب..

حسنا، محنة حبوبة الحبّيبة الصحّية، والتي سطّرتها في حروف حنونة قوية شجية اللحن، والتي لم تفقد بهاءها ومقدرتها على تحريك النفوس حتى الان وربما ظلت بنفس الوهج الى يوم يبعثون .. بهذا المقطع من الاغنية شكّلت لنا – عن غير قصد منها – اضاءة عفوية عن حال الطب في سودانا زمان، وارّخت لاثنين من الدكاترة العظام والاهم وصفت حال ممارسة التطبيب في مستشفى الخرطوم الذي تتناوشنا على مصيره الظنون في هذه الايام ..

أول ما اظهرته لنا هذه الجزئية من الاغنية، إن حبوبة قد قامت بزيارة المستشفى طلبا للاستشفاء في ذات (عصرية) .. وهذا يعني ان حوادث المستشفى وعياداتها الخارجية كانت تستقبل المرضى طوال ساعات اليوم .. طبعا دا لسه حاصل وعادي ولكن الغير عادي أن يكون في استقبالها اثنين من كبار اخصائي المستشفى !!!

على ايامنا الان تحتاج للخروج من بيتك في ظلمات الدجى وتوقظ جارك صاحب الامجاد الوحيدة في الحي، أو ان تمتطي (الكارو) لعدم توفر (عربية) المواصلات في هذا الوقت المبكر، ثم عندما تصل المستشفى وتتخلص من لياقات الغفير وتجلس في الصف، تمارس فضيلة الزحيح على الكنب في صبر انتظارا لدورك في مقابلة الاخصائي، ولسانك يلهج بالدعاء ان يصلك الدور قبل ان يغادر سعادته المكتب لتناول الافطار والتي تعقبها الزوغة لاقرب المستوصفات .. دا لو كان جا من اساسو !!

فمهما حاولت وزارة الصحة ان تضبط طريقة عمل اخصائيها الذين يعملون في المستشفيات الحكومية، وتمنعهم من مغادرتها لعياداتهم الخاصة والمستوصفات، فشلت ولم تتمكن من ذلك لتمتعهم بخاصية (زوغان ود الموية) الذي يجيد التسرب من بين الاصابع ..

عاد ايش جاب لجاب ؟!! الساعة في المستوصف والتي يعاين فيها الطبيب عشرين مريضا بمعدل مريض كل ثلاثة دقائق، تدخل لجيبه ما يأخذه في شهر كامل بمستشفى الحكومة ويرى فيه الالاف المرضى المصابين بالايدز والكساح والجزام وسوء التغذية والـ(تي بي) وكل المعديات المهلكات من الاوبئة والامراض .. عاد الجابرو شنو ؟!!

ثاني الاشياء التي ذكرتها هذه الجزئية من الاغنية وخلدتها في ذاكرتنا، هي اضاءتها لسيرة عطرة لاثنين من العظماء الذين مارسو الطب في السودان .. احدهم خواجة تسودن عن رضا والثاني يعد ابو الطب في السودان ..

(هوف) الذي (رطن) بالانجليزي اكيد، هو بروفيسور هوف مورقان الذي ولد في ساوث ويلز بانجلترا، وتخرج في عام 1940 وحاز على عدة جوائز أثناء دراسته وعند تخرجه ونال دبلوم زمالة الكلية الملكية لاختصاصيي الباطنية، وقدم مورقان للخرطوم في العام 1952 ليشغل منصب البروفيسور الأول للباطنية بالكلية الجامعية وعميداً لكلية الطب بجامعة الخرطوم من 1955-1958. – دا بحدد لينا وقت ظهور الاغنية – كان بروفيسور مورقان طبيباً ممتازاً ومعلماً صبوراً وباحثاً مدققاً اهتم بدراسة كل ما تعرض له أثناء ممارسته من أمراض المناطق الحارة، ونشر أبحاثاً عن البنسلين والتهاب الكبد وغيرها.

أما الثاني فهو بروفيسر داؤود مصطفى خالد الذي تخرج من مدرسة كتشنر الطبية في 1940م، وكان من أميز الاطباء واكثرهم مهارة بما شهد به كبار الاطباء الغربين، ومن أنه كان يجيد تشخيص اعقد الامراض بمجرد جس الاصابع، دون الاستعانة بالاجهزة والتقنيات الحديثة والتي يستعين بها اطبائنا اليوم

The Beauty of the Good Old Golden Days Gone by; my cherished memories of Khartoum Teaching Hospital (KTH) and its esteemed academic medical educators and celebrated clinical trainers, dedicated healthcare workers and the good care for the patients remained vivid through the decades! Longings persist over time.

  1. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is

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