Hearing Help For Africa

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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 Part I, Dr. Green explained more about the work his team is doing. In this Q&A post with Dr. Green, learn about the cultural differences his team encountered.


Q: What is a major difference, medically, than in the United States?
A: There’s a lot of ignorance even within the medical community. For instance, in Nigeria, after you graduate from medical school, you go to a village and provide medical care for a year. You’re fresh out of medical school and doing some fairly advanced types of things, and that’s tough to do. And basically, there’s no medical liability, so people often end up doing things in a way that perhaps isn’t right.

Q: What is a major difference, culturally, than in the United States?
A: We saw things that most people don’t realize actually happen. We call them these, oh, my, moments. You slap yourself in the face and think, did I really see that? For instance, we were driving from the capitol to Jos and we saw this guy who had just part of a cow hooked on with bungee cords to his motorcycle, including the tail. It’s seems strange, disgusting even, to us, and we think, oh my goodness. But that’s what you see sometimes. Stuff like that.

Q: How do you see the communities working together in Nigeria?
A: People help each other out there. They don’t save their money for retirement, they don’t put it in the bank; they give it to one another. People go to their friends and raise money for these surgeries.

Nigeria is an interesting place; you just don’t know what’s going to happen the next day. But the people are some of the most grateful folks I’ve ever seen, and that’s rewarding. It’s very humbling how grateful they are.