Our global health initiative in Kenya is an important aspect of UK Otolaryngology’s continued mission for quality otolaryngological care for all. Our chair, Matthew Bush, MD, has been going to Kenya for years to offer care and mentorship, and this year was accompanied by Mark Fritz, MD, and UK ENT residents William Ruffin, DO and Nicholas Van Maele, MD. This year's trip had stops in both Nairobi and Nakuru, and was a first time experience for several of the doctors on the trip.
The doctors had the opportunity to speak at the Kenya Ear Nose and Throat Society Otology and Laryngology Symposium and were presented with wooden statues and Certificates of Appreciation for their work in Kenya.
We asked for some words from the doctors who experienced work in Kenya for the first time, and they spoke positively about the experience, the community, and the continued relationship between the University of Kentucky and the University of Nairobi.
Dr. Mark Fritz
“I was pleased to be a part of the collaboration Dr. Matt Bush has helped foster over the past 12 years between University of Kentucky and the University of Nairobi. While Dr. Bush continued his otology training for the University of Nairobi students, we were able to begin teaching laryngology techniques and working on how we can collaborate for complicated laryngology care in the future. Asante sana to the wonderful doctors and people we worked with in Nairobi and Nakuru, Kenya!! “
Dr. William Ruffin, PGY- 5
“The trip was one of the best experiences of my life. The people of Kenya are so resourceful, and grateful. The ear disease we encountered was advanced and significantly challenged my surgical skills and critical thinking. The greatest part of the trip for me was experiencing the Kenyan culture- from drinking Kenyan tea to dining with them and eating Ugali. Would definitely go back!!”
Dr. Nicholas Van Maele, PGY - 5
“I would say that I was honored to work with the Kenyan residents. It was very rewarding to teach them and manage complex ear diseases with them. Although we helped a small cohort of people with the surgeries performed during the trip, the investment in the training of the Kenyan residents and staff will help an exponential amount of patients throughout the continent.”
We look forward to more communication and collaboration between our programs in the future, and we look forward to seeing how the seeds of this trip will germinate into the future.