Omer Abdulmagid

Omer Abdulmagid


When i was 11-year-old, there was great debate regarding my circumcision among the family. Elder members like my grandmother and uncles, remembering the death of my uncle due to non-stop bleeding, resulting from the circumcision as per the Muslim tradition in Sudan. My father, one of the admirers of Dr. Faroog Sidiqu, the reputed hematologist at the Khartoum Hospital, suggested that it is the doctor who would decide on it. My father was right. He could remember, the son was laying on the bed at that regional hospital, between life and death, bleeding for the third consecutive day. Doctors were puzzled and almost exhausted all options to stop this nasty bleeding from the nose. He took the journey from, after losing hopes, from Berber to Khartoum, not quite sure that his beloved son would make it. Dr. Faroog was in charge of the case. The child was admitted in the hospital, blood transfusions were made one bottle after another, and many tests were done.

– your son is confirmed to have a bleeding disorder, do you have any similar issues in the family? Asked Dr. faroog

-Yes, two of his uncles, mother’s brothers died at age of 9 and 13. Father replied.

-He is lucky to be born in an era that witnessed many improvements in the medical care of this clotting problem.

I was admitted at Khartoum Hospital for almost a week with the plasma infusion undertaken every 12 hours. the doctor assured there is a new medicine which would be a game changer in the lives of poor hemophiliacs. that was almost in 1971 when i was diagnosed and had my first treatment. My father and I came back to our home in the town of Berber, 360 Km north of the capital overwhelmed by the cheers of the relatives who presumed a miracle has been taking place and overloaded with many advice of the doctor on how to handle the case of boy. From that day i became a regular visitor to blood bank of Kh Hospital.

  • i hate this plasma thing…!
  • Why? asked the doctor almost laughing.
  • it makes my body itching all over. You know doctor, this time i brough my mom so that she can handle it with her hand. they laughed.
  • This time you are even luckier. “We are not going to give plasma. new invented concentrate will be your friend for the rest of your life.” said doctor Faroog in an assuring word. “No itching no problem “I had my first infusion. it was OK.

I went to the toilet, secretly wished to evaluate the efficiency of this medicine by myself. i was admitted because there was blood in my urine that lasted for couple of days. I came our rushing to my father, ” Yes, it is working dad, oh my God”.

What is working? asked my dad?

“The medicine” .i replied back………. “My urine turned to light yellow instead of red.”

it was a simple verification of the worthiness of the injected medicine. Color is changing from red to light yellow. i was stunned. my doubts turned into firm belief.

1976, i completed 10 years, with many self-awareness about the line that has been drawn. i sensed the attention of many eyes focusing on anything that i was doing. Playing football with my peers was a big taboo.  I loved football and exhibited remarkable skills in playing. yet my friend would be very reluctant to let me play with them. They are afraid of the subsequences. At school the story was a bit different. The teachers were well informed about my case and warned that any physical punishment my lead to serious subsequences. I was very good at all subjects and topped the class. Not giving any teacher any reason to push me. Lashing the boys with whips was a common practice and the teachers were authorized to do it. when there a common punishment, the teacher would exclude me. some would make their own punishment for this strange boy. Mr. Amin, our math teacher, looked at me from face to toe and mockingly asked the class to stand up. it happened that i came late that morning and he was already in the classroom. He instructed the students to Welcome “His Highness” by singing the National Anthem. They did. He was so cruel to vent his anger in that way. i was down morally.

The same year, in the school holiday, my dad and i travelled to the capital by Half Express train. It was a privilege to travel to Khartoum, envied by my friends and give me times to narrate the wonders i have seen in Khartoum.  They do not know that if it were not for this bleeding issues i would have never visited the capital. My wonder was that i had nothing this time to explain why we had to go to the capital. my health was great and no bleeding, being inside or outside.

The discussion was going on that morning with Dr. Faroog and some other big consultants providing more assurances to my dad that circumcision like any surgery would be efferently managed by the administration of the factor, factor 8.

Although i was cent per cent fit, i was admitted at the Pediatrics Section at the Hospital. Factor replacement was planned twice a day. My dad, noting the growing frustration inside me for being injected without a valid reason, he told me we planned to circumcise you. it is a simple procedure and there are no worries. I was a bit relived. Circumcision is something that relates to manhood in that closed environment. A man uncircumcised is not a man.

The day came. The news spread everywhere and our far and near relatives came to witness this “operation”. some of them, had no trust in the medicine at all, objecting seriously and surrendered to the will of my father who swear would never leave his son uncircumcised whatsoever.  Three of the surgeons attended the surgery. Dr. Faroog set the hemostatic management plan with close monitoring of all essential parameters. After an hour i was pushed on a wheeled chair to the room. My aunts and other women ululated in joy. i spent around two weeks under the persistence of the medical team who left nothing for the chance. i was under the factor coverage for the entire period. Very minimal bleeding was observed. We returned to our hometown like a victorious army. when the train stopped at the station, we found a fleet of around 4 cars awaiting us. Celebration had to start and many cow blood were shed and many people were coming in to see the wonders, especially elders whom the occasion evoked their bitter memories of the earlier death of my two uncles.

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