More Than Medicine in Kampala and Kijabe
by Joanne Merriam
More Than Medicine has teamed up with the Head & Neck Outreach (HNO) program and World Medical Mission respectively to travel to Kampala, Uganda and Kijabe, Kenya.
We traveled to the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala on April 23, 2016 for a two-week collaborative educational surgical effort between Dr. Jeff Otiti and the Uganda Cancer Center Institute (UCI), Chad Zender, MD and Katrina Harrill, RN and their team through the Head & Neck Outreach (HNO) program supported by supported by Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, and a team led by Dr. James Netterville from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Pathologist Dr. Jeff Mueller from University of Chicago donated his diagnostic skills and while he was there, co-ordinated with Kampala’s Makerere University breast cancer faculty to plan improved breast cancer diagnosis in Uganda.
This effort is part of a greater educational collaboration uniting stakeholders in Head and Neck Surgical Education from throughout the region with international academic partners. As the sole opportunity for formal, advanced Head and Neck surgical training in sub-Saharan Africa, the Cape Town Karl Storz Head and Neck Fellowship Program has trained a small but growing number of Otolaryngologists and General Surgeons from outside of South Africa who have subsequently returned as faculty to their respective institutions. Anchored by these graduates, training initiatives have taken place in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. These training initiatives, leveraging support from U.S. academic partners, have allowed the Cape Town Fellowship to provide meaningful continuing medical education support that it otherwise would have been unable.
Each case provides unique learning and training opportunities for the Ugandan surgeons, nurses, and technicians. It is this integration of quality care with education of the healthcare professionals themselves that has allowed us to grow this initiative over the past two years. Chad Zender, MD
The Kampala camp was able to perform their 100th surgical procedure and to reach over 200 patients. “Each case provides unique learning and training opportunities for the Ugandan surgeons, nurses, and technicians. It is this integration of quality care with education of the healthcare professionals themselves that has allowed us to grow this initiative over the past two years,” Dr. Zender said.
Immediately on the heels of the Uganda trip, in May 2016 Dr. Robert Sinard of VUMC brought a team of medical providers to the 265-bed Kijabe Hospital to work with World Medical Mission, treating patients with large jaw tumors, removing the tumors and performing free flap transfer of bones and tissue for reconstruction of these large defects, and teaching the regional surgeons these techniques.
In October, More Than Medicine will return to Tawfiq Hospital in Malindi, Kenya on our seventh two-week educational surgical camp in Malindi, and our twenty-third in Africa. Our patients primarily come from Malindi, or are referred from the ENT faculty at the University of Nairobi. We also serve 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: only about 60 ENT surgeons treat a country of 40 million.