Polish school of otolaryngology in Tanzania

Interview with Ass. Prof. Piotr H. Skarzynski MD PhD MSc, Research and Development Director in the Center of Hearing and Speech Medincus

What is the idea behind the prevention of hearing loss?

According to WHO over a billion of young people are at risk of hearing loss. This problem significantly affects the proper development of children in all parts of the world. Screening tests are a great example of the broadly understood idea of the early prevention and detection of various diseases that affect human development and everyday communication.

The idea of hearing screening in children is promoted by the Center of Hearing and Speech MEDINCUS not only in Europe but also in other world regions. The pilot hearing screening tests were organized in such countries as Moldova, Romania, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, as well as in several countries in Africa.

What is your activity in Africa connected with?

In recent years, we have been consistently striving to develop cooperation with medical centers in Africa. We have received proposals for joint scientific and research work. We managed to organize joint programs and hearing screening tests in Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Congo, Tanzania, Senegal and Rwanda. So far, a number of bilateral scientific conferences have been held, and doctors – otolaryngologists and audiologists – from these countries had the opportunity to participate in conferences, trainings and internships organized by us in Poland, in Kajetany.

How was your activity accepted? What was cooperation with Tanzania based on?

Our activities, scientific and clinical achievements, the possibility of using telemedicine solutions have evoked great interest among local doctors and public institutions and led us to further proposals of cooperation. As a result, we were invited to conduct hearing screening of school age children in Moshi, Tanzania. On the initiative of Dr. Edwin Liyombo – the President of the Tanzania ENT Society, the head of the otorhinolaryngology department in Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, our team received an honorary invitation to participate in the Congress of the Tanzania ENT Society. The topics that were commented on as the most interesting and abounding in completely new issues were our presentations on the partial deafness treatment and other surgical methods known as the Polish school of otolaryngology. We have presented the ideas of a pilot hearing screening program and the results of the research carried out in various populations in Europe, Asia and Africa, which have been published in the Journal of Hearing Science. Statistical analysis of the results of screening tests conducted in Tanzania shows that almost half of the examined children needed a medical consultation.

How were the initiatives evaluated by local specialists?

We are extremely pleased to mention that our work has found acceptance of local communities. Many times, local specialists emphasized the willingness to conduct joint screening tests. Detailed questions were related to our devices, testing techniques and subsequent diagnostic steps in the detection of hearing loss and further stages of treatment.

Screening programs are not only limited to the detection of hearing impairments. If the test results are incorrect or raise doubts, the child is not left without help – more accurate diagnostics and treatment can be performed by local specialists who can always count on our support.

For more information please contact:

Dr Edwin Liyombo MD, MMED
Consultant ENT Surgeon, President Tanzania ENT Society, Head ORL Departament Muhimbili National Hospital
tel.: 00255783283569


International Centre of Hearing and Speech “Medincus”
tel. +48 22 46 36 314; +48 504 118 980
7 Mokra Str., Kajetany
05-830 Nadarzyn