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The Tanzanian ENT Clinic

Wed, 10/27/2010 - 5:50am
Dr. Bruce Campbell, MD

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

- Albert Schweitzer

The middle-aged Tanzanian woman lived many hours away and had traveled to the academic medical center in Moshi. She had now waited all day to see the doctor. He would tell her why the neck mass was growing and if there was any treatment.

The middle-aged Tanzanian woman lived many hours away and had traveled to the academic medical center in Moshi. She had now waited all day to see the doctor. He would tell her why the neck mass was growing and if there was any treatment.

My host is a teacher at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and the only fully trained otolaryngologist in Northern Tanzania. He is one of only six ENT physicians practicing in a country of 40 million people. He described her predicament. “She has had a growing neck mass for about one year,” he told me. “Look here! There is also a mass in her tongue. That is the source of the neck mass, don’t you agree?” I peered over his shoulder as he focused the dim light from his head mirror in the back of her throat. They had taken a piece of the neck mass out at some point and I pointed out the scar in her neck. “Oh, the report from the biopsy shows that the mass is a cancer but the description is unclear. We don’t have a pathologist here very often.”

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