Dr. Jill Seaman
Jill Seaman has been working in Africa throughout a course of over twenty-six years. Born and raised in Moscow, Idaho, she graduated from Middleburg College and then the University of Washington Medical School, is board certified in family practice through the University of California San Fransisco at Salinas and is also a Diplomate in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (London).
Seaman has earned international recognition for her groundbreaking work on kala-azar (visceral lishmaniasis), an epidemic which had killed more than 100,000 people in a remote part of Sudan. Seaman has also co-authored and written numerous articles published in various medical journals regarding Leishmaniasis and its treatment in resource poor settings. In 1997 she was a featured physician in Time Magazine's special on Heroes of Medicine. She has numerous awards for medical and humanitarian services. She has also earned the Humanitarian Award from the University of Washington as a remarkable alumnus.
Between working in Africa, Seaman provides public-health services to Yup'ik Eskimos in Bethel, Alaska, located about 400 air miles west of Anchorage.
Sjoukje De Wit
Sjoukje de Wit is an RN, with a certificate in Tropical Community Medicine and Health. (Liverpool). In September of 2001 she earned her Masters Degree of advanced nursing practice.
De Wit, like Seaman, has had extensive experience in Africa. She has worked in Africa for many years in South Sudan, North Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. De Wit continues her sheep farm in Holland while working for the South Sudan Medical Relief project in Old Fangak both while at home and in Africa.
Working with Seaman and the Nuer people, de Wit helped establish TB treatment in the West Upper Nile region of Sudan with the organization, Doctors Without Borders. Later, de Wit and Seaman used their own savings and other private contributions to begin the Sudan Tuberculosis Project in Lanken. The project was invited to the Fangak county in 2000 by the people of the area, and has been in Old Fangak since 2005.
In April 2013 Sjoukje was awarded Order of Orange-Nassau by the Queen of The Netherlands for her work in South Sudan.
A strong group of South Sudanese staff are essential to the success of the South Sudan Medical Relief Project. Check out our National Staff page to learn more about these individuals.
Gretchen is an American family doctor, now living in Australia, whose job has been stateside organising for the South Sudan Medical Relief Project. Gretchen writes letters and serves as the contact person for the project. As her family grew up, Gretchen was able to work in South Sudan several times, being inspired by how much can be accomplished in circumstances that are--shall we say--challenging.
Gretchen's daughter Katie volunteered with Jill during a massive kala azar epidemic in 2010, and decided to study nursing. She now spends more time in South Sudan than Gretchen can. Sharing this work with her daughter is one of Gretchen's greatest joys.
In Memory of Gary Zaret
Gary Zaret, a doctor who provided motivation for so many in quality public health worked with Jill with the Yupik community in Alaska. After tropical medical school he spent timed working in Sudan during a kala azar outbreak - and seeing people from the South begging us for TB treatment. Gary believed that we really could establish the Sudan Tuberculosis Project. His organisational and fundraising skills helped get us to the point of setting out on our own. Gary died only a few weeks later. We warmly remember Gary and his enthusiastic assistance.
Crosscurrents, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, has worked since 1985 to promote an international climate for peace and human development. Check out the Crosscurrents website www.crosscurrentsinstitute.org. We are most grateful to directors, William and Marina Shaw, who accept and distribute donations on our behalf, allowing for non-profit tax deductions at no cost. With their help we can guarantee that 100% of every donation goes directly to the people we serve.