South Sudan has emerged from eons of oppression and exploitation to become the world’s newest nation. South Sudan has many treasures; it is a land of immense natural riches and amazing cultural diversity. The South Sudanese have proven to have incredible strength and resilience. But South Sudan has the world’s highest rates of tropical diseases, maternal and fetal deaths, and untreated injuries. It is a country virtually without modern medical care.
Dr. Ken Waxman is an American surgeon. In 2010 he joined Doctors without Borders and traveled to a South Sudanese village near the Northern border to help develop a surgical facility, in anticipation of the increasing violence that was certain to ensue as South Sudan voted for independence. Ajak’s Song is the story of that journey.
Dr. Kenneth Waxman is a physician board certified in surgery and surgical critical care. He was born in San Francisco, earning his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He attended medical school at the University of Chicago and obtained his surgical training at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Waxman then joined the UCLA Department of Surgery.
Under vast blue African skies exists a place of timeless beauty. The land is endlessly flat, dotted with thorn trees, extending to distant horizons. Countless streams seep from the soil and converge, the primal beginnings of the River Nile. Occasionally, nearly blending with the landscape, arise scattered groupings of mud huts with straw roofs (turkols). These are the dwellings of an ancient nomadic people, the Dinka, the tallest people on earth.