Posted on October 4, 2016
ENT AND HEAD & NECK SURGICAL VOLUNTEERING IN VANUATU
In August, Clear Ears Director Meg Bumpstead was privileged to be invited to participate in another aid mission with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) Global Health International Development Project in Vanuatu. The partially AusAID funded Ear Nose and Throat volunteer program has been running for 16 years and provides essential ENT medical services and annual nurse training to strengthen the capacity of health services in Vanuatu and the pacific region.
Whilst Vanuatu is a popular destination for resort going travellers, on arrival to the hospital it is immediately evident that Vanuatu is a developing country whose population has significant health needs, often with conditions that we do not see in urban Australia.
During this visit we were able to see 270 patients through the out patient clinic for both medical and audiology reviews. The queue for clinic each day was impressive. Patients had travelled from many of the 83 islands of Vanuatu– a testament to the excellent triaging from the local ENT nurses who have been participating in the annual nurse training.
Surgeons Mr Perry Burstin, Mr Roger Grigg and Mr Bill Johnson were able to perform 44 procedures on this visit, including 7 major and 3 minor Head and Neck operations, 8 major and 17 minor Ear operations, and 9 nasal operations. The team also included anaesthetist Dr Matt Hayhoe, Theatre Nurses Kirsty Macleod and Kathy Whyte from Toowoomba and Audiologist Dr Dino Hodge.
Clear Ears recognise that participating in volunteer Aid work can be life changing and one of the most rewarding professional experiences that you can have in your career and strongly encourage our staff to actively participate in these programs.
To see more about the volunteer efforts of the Clear Ears Team view our blog here .