U.S. Doctor Helps Hundreds Of Medical Students In South Sudan

Mar 16, 2012

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. with just a few dozen doctors to help everyone. But in the country of South Sudan that is the reality. There are 50 licensed doctors to help more than eight million people. Thomas Burke knows this situation well. He’s the chief of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights. That’s part of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He’s helped create a medical program for 400 students. That story unfolds in the new documentary “Between the Earth and Sky.” The film opened the Sun Valley Film Festival Thursday night and it screens in Boise on Sunday. Thomas Burke told Sadie Babits his first trip to South Sudan four years ago was eye opening.

Boise-based freelance journalist Karen Day wrote and produced "Between the Earth and Sky."

South Sudan became the world's newest country on July 9, 2011, gaining independence after 20 years of war. More than two million people died during the war and millions fled. South Sudan is roughly the size of France and doesn't have any paved highways. The U.S. is helping to fund a new highway. When it's finished a year from now, it will connect Juba, the capitol of South Sudan, to the border with Uganda.