Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD Endowed International Humanitarian Award

About the Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Humanitarian 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 Humanitarian Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who has selflessly treated people for whom access to care would have been financially or physically prohibitive. 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.

The 2024 nomination process will be open January 4 – March 8. Submit your nomination here.

2023 International Humanitarian Award Recipient

This year’s AAO-HNSF Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Humanitarian Award goes to Tashneem Harris, MBChB, FCORL(SA). Dr. Harris is a practicing otologist, head and neck surgeon, and instructor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa. She is the director of the first on-the-continent otology fellowship sponsored by MED-EL. Between 2012 and 2021, a total of 20 registrars have successfully completed their four-year training and passed their examinations.

In addition to running the otology fellowship, Dr. Harris is engaged in an active head and neck oncology practice and teaches residents and fellows at the University of Cape Town. She works tirelessly and is a devoted physician. During her tenure as fellowship director, she will train numerous otology fellows over the next decade who will return to their respective countries in Africa to practice advanced otology.

As in many low-resource countries, the cost of cochlear implantation in South Africa must be met by patients. Furthermore, many otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons in sub-Saharan Africa have not been taught to operate on patients with ear disease safely. In 2018 Dr. Harris started the cochlear implant unit at Groote Schuur Hospital to give clinically and socioeconomically qualifying, hard of hearing or deaf patients the opportunity to attain a cochlear implant.

The AAO-HNSF Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Humanitarian Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who has selflessly treated people for whom access to care would have been financially or physically prohibitive. 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.

Previous Recipients:

  • 2022: Thana H. Nassir, MD, PhD, FICMS | Iraq
  • 2021: Niels van Heerbeek, MD, PhD | Tanzania
  • 2020: Marlinda Adham, MD, PhD | Indonesia
  • 2019: José Manuel Colmenarez Mendoza, MD | Venezuela
  • 2018: Professor Mohan Kameswaran | India
  • 2017: Johanna Sembergman, MD | Venezuela
  • 2016: Nega Kiros Hagos, MD | Ethiopia
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