More Than Medicine in Malindi
In October 2015, the More Than Medicine (http://www.more-than-medicine.org/) team, in conjunction with the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery from the University of Nairobi, led a two-week educational surgical camp at Tawfiq Hospital in Malindi, Kenya. This was More Than Medicine’s sixth camp in Malindi, and our twentieth in East Africa.
Malindi is a city of 200,000 on the coast of the Indian Ocean, 75 miles northeast of Mombasa. Our patients primarily came from Malindi, or were referred from Nairobi where we had previously run a head and neck dissection/surgical course along with the ENT faculty of the University of Nairobi. We also had a large population of patients from rural areas with little or no ENT care. Like many African countries, Kenya suffers from a shortage of ENT providers: about 60 ENT surgeons service a country of 40 million.
Our team of twenty-five medical staff included seven American surgeons from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Jefferson University, and the Huntsman Cancer Institute at University of Utah, as well as anesthesiologists, nurses, nurse anesthetists, and OR techs, and a nurse practitioner who saw patients in a tiny one-room clinic with our pathologist and speech pathologist. We also brought four medical students who created an electronic medical record system for better follow-up when we return next year.
The emphasis of our trip is advanced head and neck surgery education for the local ENTs, who have requested this specific hands-on training. Our students—ten Kenyan ENT surgeons and two academic otolaryngologists who had traveled from Uganda and Ethiopia—participated in surgeries in two operating theatres for ten days.
“Our surgical emphasis is for the visiting American otolaryngologists to assist the African surgeons through all surgical procedures,” says Dr Kyle Mannion, one of the senior surgeons on our team. “This enables them to continue to provide this much-needed care after we leave.”
These educational camps in Malindi would be impossible without the support and close collaboration of our partner The Caris Foundation through its educational mission efforts in Kenya.
We have also led educational surgical camps on the same model in Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria and Kijabe, Kenya, and, in association with University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Kampala, Uganda.