Otologic outreach in Jinotega, NicaraguaExpanded from the print edition
Mayflower Medical Outreach (MMO), developed and organized by members of the Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, OK, built and equipped a much-needed ENT clinic at the Hospital Victoria Motta in the foggy rural hills of northern Nicaragua.
By Rosemary B. Ojo, MD, Humanitarian Travel Grant Awardee
Mayflower Medical Outreach (MMO), developed and organized by members of the Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, OK, built and equipped a much-needed ENT clinic at the Hospital Victoria Motta in the foggy rural hills of northern Nicaragua. The organization helps train Nicaraguan ENT physicians and maintains a boarding school for deaf children. I was fortunate to spend a week working on complex cases within the facility.
This trip focused on otology and building partnerships with practicing otolaryngologists and residents from Nicaragua who joined us in an effort to enhance their surgical skills. Dr. Ernesto Moreno provides year-round otolaryngological services at the hospital and helped triage myriad consults and surgeries prior to the outreach. In five busy days two otologists and two residents, of which I was one, completed 40 complex ear cases ranging from tympanomastoidectomies to stapedectomies and tympanoplasties.
I was pleasantly surprised by the facility, which was more than adequate for complex ear surgeries as well as the staff’s ability to adapt and learn the complexities of the procedures. The expertise of the Nicaraguan anesthesiologist also was a relief. However, one challenge was the lack of complete surgical sets for ear cases. Often equipment was washed and re-used, a far cry from the U.S. where most things are disposable.
The MMO was a truly rewarding and humbling experience and I am forever indebted to the AAO-HNSF Humanitarian Efforts Committee for providing my travel grant. This trip has given me a global perspective and appreciation for how the influence of one person with professional experience can be substantial. I plan to complete a clinical fellowship in otology and I hope the roots that I have planted during this mission trip will allow me to return.