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University of South Florida

USF Health and African Bible College Achieve Historic Milestones in International Research Collaboration

The USF Health Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery (ENT) surgeon Dr. Julia Toman and African Bible College Professor Dr. Jenna Vallario (USF Audiology graduate now full time at ABC Malawi) launched a research collaboration in March 2020 with the goal of promoting research development for Malawian audiology students and fostering collaborative global exchange. In conjunction with USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, this collaboration has recently marked several key milestones.

In March 2023, for the first time, two senior audiology students from ABC, Alinafe Makoka and Alex Dissi received National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to support their travel to the Population Hearing Healthcare Audiology Conference in Arizona where they presented their research from this bilateral exchange focusing on methods for improving follow up rates for audiology appointments in Malawi. Following their participation in the conference, USF Health ENT and Audiology were thrilled to welcome Makoka and Dissi for a short clinical observership with financial support from USF Health ENT. They were additionally able to attend the USF International Medicine Scholarly Concentration Graduation creating a true environment of international collaboration.

The USF/ABC collaboration marked another historic achievement in April, with the first joint publication in Audiology Research by a lead Malawian audiology author, Grant Kapalamula with his colleague Memory Khomera, both now recently graduated from ABC Audiology. The financial support provided by the USF Health Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery helped make this achievement possible.

Dr. Toman, assistant professor in USF Health Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, said, “These successes represent a true bilateral equitable exchange, placing USF Health at the forefront of international outreach and collaboration.”

The partnership between USF Health and ABC in promoting research and education is a remarkable achievement in international collaboration.


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