Julia Brennan, MD
Julia Brennan, MD
Otolaryngology (ENT) · Nashville, TN

Malindi, Kenya Surgical Training Camp

October 21st
Malindi, Kenya

Project Description

In October, I will travel to Malindi, Kenya with a team of health care professionals from the US. We will be putting on a 2 week collaborative surgical training workshop in which American-trained and Kenyan-trained head and neck surgeons will invite Kenyan residents and junior attendings from around the country to learn advanced head and neck cancer surgical techniques. We anticipate providing surgical care for 50-70 patients during the 2 week trip.

We collaborate with the local Kenyan ENTs practicing in Malindi and the surrounding areas to provide referrals and ensure follow-up and continuity of care for our patients. It is these strong relationships with practicing ENTs in Kenya that have allowed us to build a sustainable model for our surgical training workshops. The impact of our workshops exists both in the serving the patients in Kenya as well as teaching the local Kenyan surgeons advanced surgical techniques through this global partnership.

Population Served

The patients base includes Kenyan locals with head and neck cancer. The country currently has fewer than 70 ENT surgeons to serve a population of 50 million and there is an abundance of advanced stage disease that goes untreated as a result of this dearth of trained health care professionals in the field. Among these 70, even fewer are trained in the higher level surgeries (oral cavity resections, total laryngectomy, parotid/parapharyngeal resections, large thyroid resections, free flap reconstructions) required to treat later-stage head and neck cancer.

We have built decade-long partnerships with practicing ENT doctors in Kenya to try to assist in addressing this. In collaboration with surgeons at Kenyatta University, we have been able to build a workshop that seeks to care for these patients while simultaneously assisting in training the next generation of Kenyan head and neck surgeons to continue to treat this underserved population in the future.

Expected Impact

Our partnership with the local Kenya surgeons and our commitment to teaching Kenyan ENT residents and junior attendings allows our impact to continue beyond the two weeks we are there. We are committed to the education of these surgeons in advance head and neck cancer techniques to allow them to continue to serve this important community of patients.

Trip Photos & Recap

The value of our work is threefold: firstly for the Kenyan surgeons who get a two week intensive surgical training camp in advanced head and neck cancer techniques. Under the guidance of world class fellowship trained surgeons, they benefit from this immersive hands-on experience. Secondly, there is immense value for the patients who we serve in Kenya. These patients undergo life-changing operations through a collaborative effort between the Kenyan in American surgeons. Lastly, we - the visiting surgeons and surgical team - get substantial value from the opportunity as well. We connect with our Kenyan counterparts and grow through this exchange of ideas. We are so grateful for the experience and for Doximity’s support.