Ears Nose and Throat (ENT)
The Indiana University otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat; ENT) department joined the IU-Kenya partnership in 2009. While our involvement is still in its infancy, the potential for this partnership is remarkable. In just three short years, we have established a firm relationship with the Moi University otolaryngologists and provided medical care for numerous patients with disorders of the ears, nose, throat and head and neck. The lack of resources in Kenya results in head and neck tumors growing to a size rarely, if ever, seen in the developed world, causing significant compromise of function and quality of life. Most of these tumors are curable with surgery. The otolaryngology partnership has already affected the lives of numerous patients suffering from the pain and disfigurement of these tumors and has the potential to affect countless more. The program has recently expanded to include ENT surgeons specializing in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery to treat patients with congenital and traumatic disfigurement. In addition, the program has provided opportunities for the exchange of medical knowledge and the teaching of Kenyan medical students. Participants on our trips have included otolaryngology-head and neck surgery staff physicians and residents, as well as nurses and engineers.
The potential impact of this partnership on IU and Moi students and residents is invaluable, with the ability to affect innumerable Kenyan and American patients and physicians. In addition, we hope this relationship will lead to the development of an otolaryngology/head and neck surgery residency program at Moi University (currently there is only one otolaryngology residency program in the country, which is based out of Nairobi).