WINDHOEK: Operation Omakutsi – being the Oshiwambo word for Ears- was conducted for the sixth time since it’s inception by two doctors from Germany in 2003. Operation Omakutsi is two fold as it aims to improve or even restore the hearing of patients who suffered from chronic middle ear infection and to train and capacitate local doctors to carry out such operations in future.
The German medical team consisting of Professor Dr. Juergen Lautermann and Professor Dr. Goetz Lehnert assisted by Dr Ailly Imbangu operated last week on 37 patients at the Intermediate Hospital Oshakati. Dr Lehnerdt said the operations are quite delicate and if anything goes wrong it could affect the patient’s facial nerve system which can resulted in a facial disorder. The two doctors are highly skilled Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons and avail their time free of charge to conduct the operations, to bring back the magic of sounds and voices to patients with an acquired hearing loss.
Medical institutions in Germany donated some medical equipment like microscopes used during the operations, while Air Namibia assisted the professionals to get to the country.
This is the sixth time the two doctors travelled to Namibia to conduct operations on people with hearing problems bringing the total patients operated on since 2003 to 258. The first three ear camps took place in Oshakati the following two, 2008 and 2010 took place in Rundu, this year the team went back to Oshakati Intermediate Hospital. Hospitals in this two towns are the only ones in the north equipped to carry out such operations.
The Doctors said this morning that chronic middle ear infections and running ears are preventable that only needed increased awareness about ear care among parents, communities and Primary Health Care workers, while general access to early intervention and adequate medical treatment can lower the risk of infections.
The two medical professionals commended their Namibian counterpart Dr. Ailly Imbangu from Oshakati who showed tremendous improvement since they started as a team back in 2003. Dr Imbangu apart from assisting in the operating theatre also do the after care of the patients, as they still need medical attention three weeks after the operation.
Both Doctors indicated they want to come back in two years time to carry on with their services to the Namibian Nation.