Hearing Help For Africa

Subscribe: RSS | Email

Advancing hearing and restoring hope in Africa.

In the fall of 2013, Dr. Green and a few of his staff from Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute returned (or went for the first time!) to Nigeria to check up on their patients and train the medial community in Jos. In these two Q&A posts with Dr. Green, find out about the work conducted during the trip as well as the cultural differences his team encountered.

Q: What have you been doing in Nigeria on most of your trips?
A: We’ve been seeing potential patients whom we could bring to Florida for surgery; getting the lab established; setting up the Internet and teleconferences; often it’s basic administrative stuff like that.

Q: You mentioned the lab. What is involved in setting up the lab?
A: Well, the lab is going to be named for Dr. Jack Hough, of Oklahoma City, OK. He was the man responsible for my interest in ear surgery when I first started out. The lab will be named The Jack and Jodie Hough Lab, in Jos, Nigeria, in honor of Jack and his wife.

Q: What are your goals for the work you are doing in Nigeria?
A: My short-term goal is to teach doctors how to perform procedures. My long-term goals are much deeper: Share the gospel, proclaiming Christ’s name across the nation. Generate government interest in advancing its country’s medical communities. Help the local university develop audiology and speech pathology programs, and later a school of oral auditory education.

Q: What are the interests of Nigeria’s medical community?
A: Doctors are really interested in cochlear implants. It’s the only sensory apparatus that has the bionic fix to it. It’s been around for 40 years, so the potential of finally having it come to their country is intriguing to them. We’ll support the doctors remotely and by making periodic trips over there.

Q: How do you support the doctors remotely?
A: We had a Nigerian audiometrician visit our office, as seen in the video post. His name is Ben; he does the troubleshooting for the hearing aids and cochlear implants in Nigeria, working virtually with our audiologists at JHBI. Most of the problems are in the external port (the processor), and those can be worked through remotely.