EXTENDING OUR WORK TO HAITI
The More Than Medicine team has designed and developed a sustainable, comprehensive, cell-phone-based hearing screening, identification and treatment program.
After working in Kenya for several years, we realized that we may have a larger impact in the region if we can identify and treat patients with hearing loss. We are using mobile diagnostic devices which can be used by community members to diagnose treatable hearing losses in populations that would otherwise go untested. Our video about these efforts, Kenya Hear Me, won Best Video at the 2017 ENT World Congress.
We have trialed this program in rural villages and schools in Kenya, and starting Monday, we will extend this work to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where we will start with an outcomes project testing 5,000 HIV+ teenagers to define the degree of hearing loss that occurs from this disease. Our plan is to scale up this program to be able to screen all children in Haiti as a trial project, and then extend this to other low- and middle-income countries across the globe.
During our week-long educational camp this coming week, we are collaborating with the chief ENT doctor of Haiti, Dr. Patrick Jean Gilles, who is the Chair of the university department, to help fill in the gaps in patient care as well as educational gaps for the young doctors in training. They have a special need for ear and hearing surgery. Drs. Marc Bennett and Rob Labadie, two internationally-respected ear surgeons, will go with us to oversee this effort. A second educational arm of this trip will be in thyroid and endocrine surgery, to improve the diagnostic and surgical skills of the surgeons in this region, with head and neck surgeons Drs. James Netterville and Sarah Rohde.
We have a total of 19 surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and surgical techs supporting this educational camp.