At Parasites Without Borders, our mission is “Getting knowledge to the people and places that need it the most.” Even if that means that 700 heavy textbooks make a month-long journey from the United States to Sudan complete with the hard work of a dedicated professor, forming an amicable relationship with a customs agent at the Khartoum Airport, and a post-delivery celebration for the entire parasitology department at the University of Khartoum.
Nearly six months ago, we received an email from Shawgi H. Almugadam, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Parasitology in the Department of Parasitology and Medical Entomology and Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Khartoum in Sudan. He was given our contact information from one of his students who we had previously sent a copy of our textbook to. The Seventh Edition of Parasitic Diseases is a valuable resource for students and clinicians all over the world and we are honored each time that we are able to get one in the right hands.
“I would like to very much thank you and Parasites Without Boarders for sending us your invaluable textbook of parasitology,” Dr. Almugadam wrote in an email to our President, Daniel Griffin. “In our faculty, there are more than 600 undergraduate students, not to mention the graduate students, and despite this large number, we do not have enough and recent parasitology textbooks/references, so it would be of help if we get more textbooks.”
After receiving an estimate on how much it would cost to send 700 books to Sudan (not to mention the cost of the printing of the books), Dr. Griffin’s response was, “That’s what we do. Let’s make it happen.”
We contacted our publisher, Sheridan, and requested to move forward with the order. We were told that they would only be able to get the books to the Khartoum Airport via an international freight service and that someone would have to physically go to the airport to pick them up. We were also told that someone would have to build a relationship with a customs broker at the airport to ensure that the books made their way through the system.
Dr. Almugadam said that he could handle all of that on his end. On December 13, 2022, our publisher shipped out 700 textbooks, which equates to 2,490 pounds of pages, bindings, and covers. Exactly one month later, January 13, 2023, we received word that Dr. Almugadam was in possession of the books. He sent us photos of the texts arriving at the university after he picked them up from the Khartoum Airport in an open-air truck.
When we asked for additional photos of university staff and students with the books, Dr. Almugadam asked if we could be patient as the school was building special bookshelves to house the books and once completed, they would hold a big celebration. The 700 copies of the Seventh Edition of Parasitic Diseases had already gone on quite a journey, so waiting a few more weeks seemed reasonable to us.
Today, Dr. Almugadam sent us a collection of photos of the Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences and the University of Khartoum Administration gathering and celebrating the arrival of the books. “We massively appreciate your generosity and efforts,” he told us via email. Parasites Without Borders was honored to be able to deliver educational texts to help further our mission of “Getting knowledge to the people and places that need it the most.”
The University of Khartoum is looking for additional textbooks and references that cover other aspects of parasites such as biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and immunology. If you are able to help in some way, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org