A medical registrar in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal was lauded for her award-winning presentation at the South African Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 58th National congress recently.
UKZN’s ENT department had a strong presence, and of the six registrars in the department, five submitted abstracts for competitive consideration by the scientific committee. All five abstracts were accepted and successfully presented.
Dr Sarena Maistry, a medical registrar in the Department, was recently awarded first prize for the Best Registrar Oral presentation at the congress.
Maistry scooped first place for her excellent study entitled “Peak Expiratory Flow Rate Monitoring in Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP)”.
RRP disease accounts for approximately 600 clinic visits annually at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital ENT clinic and 20 - 25 surgical debulkings per month.
Maistry’s study aimed to establish if peak expiratory flow (PEFR) could serve as a reliable adjunct in serial monitoring in RRP for potential future application in primary healthcare settings and home-based monitoring.
“Whilst PEFR monitoring cannot replace the need for ENT review, this limited pilot study demonstrates a potential tool to empower caregivers and overburdened ENT centers in safe decision making around timing of review. Further studies are required to fully explore this tool,” she said.
The study would not have been possible without the support of Dr Stanley Thula from the Paediatrics Department, she added.
Maistry, who hails from Westville in Durban, was inspired to study medicine during her high school years when she joined a school outreach group at King Edward Hospital.
“We played with the kids in the Paediatric Orthopaedic ward every Friday afternoon. It was my first real exposure to medicine in public healthcare, and it was then I realised how much skill and resources were needed in the public sector.
“So, I think my real inspiration for medicine came from there, and now my deep desire for research comes from finding solutions for the needs of Africa,” said Maistry.
Maistry’s special interest is in paediatric otorhinolaryngology and rhinology.
“I am most passionate about improving access to specialised healthcare by improving pathways from primary healthcare,” she said.
Head of UKZN’s ENT Department, Dr Andile Sibiya, commented: “The success at the congress is a testament to the hard work of each registrar and the commitment of the consultants and colleagues who worked so hard with each of them. Dr Maistry’s win was well-earned. Congratulations.”