Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD Endowed International Public Service Award

The AAO-HNS Foundation supports otolaryngologists around the world who demonstrate a unique commitment to the specialty as part of our continued effort to foster a global otolaryngology community.

The AAO-HNSF Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeons whose achievements have advanced the specialty. The Award is in fulfillment of the AAO-HNSF’s aim to foster a global otolaryngology community, and made possible through the generosity of Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD, a longtime advocate of AAO-HNSF international affairs.

2021 Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award

This year’s awardee is Wakisa Mulwafu, MD, PhD, who has contributed to otolaryngology in Eastern and Central Africa and made scientific contributions to delivering healthcare in resource-restrained settings.   Dr. Mulwafu is an associate professor of otolaryngology at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. He also is an executive member of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), where he also serves as the chair of the Finance and General Purpose Committee.

When faced with being the only otolaryngologist in Malawi, Dr. Mulwafu worked tirelessly to expand otolaryngology access in his home country of 18 million people. He partnered with the Malawi government to develop a policy for otolaryngology services and institute an otolaryngology training and certification program for clinical officers. His model can be employed in other low resource settings.

Dr. Mulwafu spearheaded having the specialty of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery included in COSECSA, allowing many smaller clinics that ordinarily would not have the capacity to offer ENT specialist training to do so.

Ever the scientist, Dr. Mulwafu applied a scientific approach to solving this problem within the healthcare system of Malawi. His academic work, as well, is driven by his desire to use research to improve services for people in Malawi and other low resource countries. Through his work, he has contributed to the specialty at home and abroad while underscoring his commitment to public health to improve the lives of millions of people.

2021 Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Honorable Mention: Professor. Emmanuel Dornu Kitcher, MBCh.B, FRCS, FWACS, FGCPS

Previous Recipients:

2020 –M. Shahed Quraishi, MD   | United Kingdom

2019 –Johan J. Fagan, MD  | South Africa

2018 – Tania M. Sih, MD | Brazil

2017 – Sheng-Po Hao, MD | Taiwan

2016 – Lokman Saim, MD | Malaysia

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