Message from the Head of Department
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Dr. Walter A. Odhiambo,BDS, MDS(OMFS), FRIMS

Welcome to the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine (OMFS-OPOM). Our long name measures to the quality of academic excellence offered to our students as well as a variety of quality specialised clinical services offered to our patients.

Our mandate as a department in the School of Dental Sciences, College of Health Sciences in the University of Nairobi is to offer training of skilled professional manpower in the discipline of oral and maxillofacial surgery, offer the best clinical care to the patients who seek our professional services and conduct credible research in our area of speciality that improves the quality of care we give to Kenyans and the global citizenry,

We are proud to be the first ever department in the regional Universities to own a fully- fledged University Teaching Hospital and remain the only hospital that specialise in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery in the region.

Our department trains both undergraduate and postgraduate students in oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial radiology and oral pathology and oral medicine. We are also a service department to various departments in the School of Dental Sciences as well as master of medicine students specialising in plastic surgery (Mmed Plastic Surgery) and anaesthesia (Mmed Anaesthesia)

The feedback from institutions that admit our graduates for postgraduate courses indicate that they display high standards in clinical practice as well as excellent academic scores, well above their peers from other Universities.Our postgraduate program is no exception and we continue to provide academic leadership in the region as is evident from the number of foreign students seeking admission in our Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) in Oral and maxillofacial surgery program.

Our wonderful team of specialised surgeons, pathologists and radiologists combined with availability of a well-equipped theatre and an inpatient ward with friendly nursing staff has made our hospital the leading referral center for patients with maxillofacial injuries and diseases. We are a well neat team that works in unison to ensure that both our students and patients are guaranteed the best possible quality services.

The department of OMFS-OPOM enjoys the credibility and status associated with the brand University of Nairobi and its continuing rise in global Universities ranking. While our department share in the UoN glory, we also share in the institution’s challenges and even some that are unique to our department.

Like the rest of UoN we are straining to cope with rapid expansion in student numbers aggravated by minimal expansion in the teaching infrastructure and dwindling funding from the exchequer which has led to a huge financial deficit. The University administration has responded to this by prescribing austerity measures aimed at cutting costs and exploring non-student fee sources of income.

Training an undergraduate student in clinical dentistry is the most expensive of any student in the University, it not only requires one to one student-tutor interaction, but in addition, each student needs individualized dental unit and a variety of expensive dental materials.Cutting operational costs without compromising standards in this kind of scenario remains a daunting challenge.

The transformation of the bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) degree from a 4-year to a 5-year program together with the government directive to clear the backlog of University admissions has led to an increase of more than threefold the teaching clinics capacity and accommodating these numbers remain one of our greatest challenge. The University administration has made commitments and approved purchase of some equipment as well as advertisement for nursing staff to replace retired ones. This will provide some relief from the current pressure and ensure that our standards do not fall below the acceptable minimum.

Our main departmental copying strategy will focus on improving efficiency anddeveloping income generating activities (IGAs) from non-student fee sources.

The main potential IGAwith opportunity for immediate returns is the University teaching Hospital;in addition to offering a world class training facility, an optimally operating Hospital can generate significant revenue and does not need to depend on external revenue for sustainability.

Surgery in progress at the University Dental Hospital Theater

Patients in the University Maxillofacial Ward managed by the department of OMFS-OPOM

The basic infrastructure already exist and the theatre is capable of conducting an average of 60 operations per week, together with x-rays, pharmacy and laboratory services, the hospital is capable of generating net revenue of more than 1million every month.

Our plan is to make maximum use of the hospital potential by transforming into a 24hour 7-days a week hospital by the end of 2016. The various specialties that have expressed interest in using the facility include; ophthalmology (already using the theatre on Mondays), Orthopaedic for arthroscopic surgery, plastic surgeons, gastroenterologists for endoscopies and cardiologists for insertion of pacemakers.

To improve our academic ranking and meet our performance contract obligations, the department will put more emphasis on research and publication. We have created thematic areas into which postgraduate students and interns will be mentored to conduct micro-research. The department has set a goal of at least one group publication every 3months with effect from mid-2016. To facilitate this, the department will set up a research fund that will support small research through departmental grants.

The goals and resolutions that will steer our department in 2016 are highlighted in the proceedings from the Machakos retreat; ‘Recommitment to academic excellence, stateof the art research and quality clinical services’.

Welcome to our department and enjoy our professional services whether as a student pursuing knowledge or a patient in need of quality clinical care.

Dr. Walter A. Odhiambo,BDS, MDS(OMFS), FRIMS

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