Spotlight: Humanitarian Efforts
David A. Shaye, MD, and Victor Nyabyenda, MD, have worked together over the past seven years to expand the breadth of surgical approaches to the craniofacial region performed in Rwanda.
David A. Shaye, MD, practices as a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at The University Teaching Hospital of Kigali in Rwanda, Africa, and at Massachusetts Eye & Ear, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Since 2014, he has split his time between the two locations, spending approximately four months per year in Africa where he sees patients clinically, operates, and teaches.
Over the past seven years, Dr. Shaye has had the opportunity to form a close working relationship with Victor Nyabyenda, MD. After graduating from Rwanda’s newly formed otolaryngology residency program in 2016, Dr. Nyabyenda was hired on as clinical faculty at the nation’s largest referral hospital. He has a special interest in sinonasal masses, which for patients in Rwanda tend to present with late and at advanced stages, making treatment challenging.
During these seven years, Dr. Shaye and Dr. Nyabyenda have collaborated clinically and on research. Jointly, they have worked to expand the breadth of surgical approaches to the craniofacial region performed in Rwanda. This has permitted the resection of many sinonasal tumors previously left untreated. Dr. Nyabyenda was awarded the AAO-HNSF’s International Visiting Scholarship, helping to support further education activities. His graduation thesis work, titled “Cross-sectional Study of Sinonasal Masses Presenting to Rwandan Referral Hospitals,” was presented at the AAO-HNSF 2019 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Patients in Rwanda often neglect their diseases because of poverty and the challenges associated with access to care. With the COVID-19 pandemic, further restrictions on travel created hardships for patients accessing care. Despite the global pandemic, Dr. Nyabyenda and Dr. Shaye worked together in Rwanda for four months this year.
As teaching faculty at the central referral hospital, Dr. Nyabyenda and Dr. Shaye are dedicated to resident education, research, and clinical activities. Their roles are critical in educating Rwanda’s next generation of otolaryngologists.