I hope this message finds all of you well and in good spirits.
We live amidst a sad crisis as the UK’s COVID-19 rate has reached disturbing and unprecedented levels during its second wave. As frontline workers, we are challenged by this overwhelming situation, yet we hope for the best as the country is facing another full national lockdown.
Allow me to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our UK Sudanese heroes whom we have lost, with deep sorrow, during the first wave of the pandemic. We mourn their loss, yet honour the great sacrifice they made for the NHS.
Last year, our health and well-being survey revealed the profound psychosocial impact of the pandemic on our colleagues with a significant majority reporting stress related to their work pattern and anxiety due to the risk of COVID-19 on BAME healthcare workers. We are aware that a lockdown can take its toll on our mental health and wellbeing. Bearing these issues in mind, the SDU-UK has announced the relaunch of its online gathering (The SDU-UK Café) and invite you all to utilise this virtual platform for meeting and voicing any concerns regarding the burden imposed by this catastrophic pandemic. We will also be introducing a helpline soon to assist and support those struggling during these challenging times.
The SDU-UK will continue to liaise and work closely with the other BAME representative bodies to safeguard our colleagues' interest and ensure that any potential health or social disparities related to this pandemic are appropriately addressed.
This pandemic has reaffirmed to us the value of solidarity in the face of adversity and the importance of supporting each other. I, therefore, urge all the Sudanese doctors living in the UK to become members of the SDU-UK. This year, we pledge to reach out to the UK-based Sudanese doctors of all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. We warmly welcome new members irrespective of their age, professional level, and embrace diversity and inclusiveness.
The welfare of our colleagues during this pandemic is of paramount importance and is a core component of what we thrive to achieve in this term. During these times of uncertainty, I assure you that myself and colleagues in the Executive Committee of your union will remain open to all your enquiries and will endeavour to deliver unwavering support to all the UK-based Sudanese doctors.
I urge you to stay safe and keep well, and I wish you and your families good health and all the best.
Dr Ahmed Elleithi
Sudan Doctors’ Union- UK Branch
22 January 2021