A collaboration, not a mission trip

U-M physicians train their Ghanaian ear, nose and throat colleagues

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U-M otolaryngologist Mark Prince (right) confers with Dr. Alex Oti of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Prince and several colleagues recently spent a week in Kumasi collaborating with Ghanian doctors.


Doctors do “mission trips” all the time. They take a week or so off from work and travel to a developing country. They treat several patients and then they fly home.

No doubt, such trips can have a huge impact on a patient’s life. But Mark Prince, M.D., wanted to do much more than that when he and his colleagues began thinking about working in the West African nation of Ghana. They didn’t want to just provide sporadic care.

“We wanted to go to a place where care was already being delivered at a certain level and assist them with getting to the next level,” said Prince, of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the U-M Health System.

The U-M physicians’ goal was to work with their Ghanaian colleagues to create a training program — an educational collaboration. In the past two years, they’ve already made much progress with such a project at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, or KATH, in Kumasi — the second-biggest city in Ghana.

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New ear infection guidelines for children

ear infection pediatricEar infections seem to almost be a rite of passage for babies and young children. What used to always result in a prescription for antibiotics is now being treated more cautiously, as outlined in the new ear infection guidelines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The new guidelines call for a wait and see approach for children unless they have a fever of 102.2 or higher, significant pain, ruptured eardrum with drainage, or infection in both ears. Those patients will still receive antibiotics right away.

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Should my child have his adenoids removed?

Many parents struggle with decisions about adenoid removal and how to make the right choice for their child. We asked Dr. David Brown, an ear, nose and throat specialist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, to fill us in on the procedure and why it is recommended for some children. 

Adenoids are located in the nasal pharynx, and may interfere with both sinus and ear drainage if enlarged.

Adenoids are located in the nasal pharynx, and may interfere with both sinus and ear drainage if enlarged.

Making decisions about your child’s healthcare can be difficult. This is particularly true for surgical procedures, no matter how safe and routine they have proven to be. Adenoid removal is most often a case in which a doctor might make a recommendation, and the parents make the ultimate decision. To help you with your decision, it is important to be informed about what the adenoids are, what happens during removal and how it may benefit your child.

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