Introduction – in the Beginning

At the time of the official inception and opening of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in 1973 there was no obvious recognition of the ENT specialty and therefore no provision for it in the clinical setting. Thus, any interest in the specialty was more by ‘’hearsay’’. In the state, (or rather Benin province as a whole, since it was as of then part of the Midwest/Bendel state), one only heard of an Egyptian DLO specialist who worked for a brief period at the then Benin General Hospital.

ENT/Otolaryngology in the UBTH was thus notionally part of Surgery, but without facilities or staff.

However, by 1975, our two senior colleagues, Dr R. Okujaye and Dr (now Chief) L. Odogwu, both with training and the ORL fellowship from the UK, arrived and commenced service in ENT in the hospital. It is greatly to their credit that they were able to arrange for procurement and provision of quite a good set of both diagnostic and surgical operative instruments, as well as allocation of a few inpatient beds and out- patient clinic space. Unfortunately, however, the two surgeons had to withdraw their services at short notice in 1978 due to some dispute/disagreement with the University of Benin as regards the mode of administrative transition from hospital to university employment.

The hospital then had to hastily, through their London office, arrange to employ Dr.F.O. Ogisi who had just recently completed his PG ENT training in England on Bendel state scholarship, acquiring the FRCS Ed. ; he returned to Nigeria at the end of that year (1978) to take up duty in UBTH, initially as senior registrar in ENT, then later, Lecturer/Consultant. A retired Indian ENT specialist, Dr Arulpragasam had been holding forth briefly before his arrival.

Dr. F.O Ogisi worked mostly single-handedly for a few years, with ENT functioning as a unit in Surgery. Residents were posted in rotation to assist from General Surgery. One resident with keen interest in the specialty, Dr Y Ossamor, was recommended for University in-service training  and proceeded to the UK; however after obtaining  the FRCS  in ORL  did not return. There was improvement shortly after with the addition to the staff of Dr Amu with FRCS and Dr Mrs Ehanire F.A. ORL (Germany). This augmentation of personnel greatly enhanced service delivery in the unit. However though operating theatre instruments has been augmented, limitations existed  with few  inpatient beds  (5-6), and in the clinic, two consulting  rooms (actually, one and a half rooms, since the physicians shared one of the rooms on non-clinic days). A third room was later added for Audiometry, where with the help of the University engineering department a soundproof booth was installed; an impedance machine was also added to the already existing  audiometer.

In 1983, the West African College of Surgeons held its annual conference in Benin; at this time the Faculty of ORL was excised from the previously joint Faculty with Ophthalmology, and Prof Ogisi was admitted as Fellow of the newly separated Faculty. Also, soon after, by 1986, Prof Ogisi became a foundation fellow of the newly established Faculty of ORL of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. Obviously, the ENT Unit and the hospital (UBTH) benefitted from this early participation in postgraduate activities in terms of training and upgrading of facilities.

However, later in that decade, Dr Mrs Ehanire had to leave to join her husband who had relocated to Warri, Prof Ogisi joined the then popular exodus to the Middle East on Sabbatical and later Leave of absence , and Dr Amu followed soon after, thus severely depleting the unit of Consultant staff. For a brief period, ENT services were run by Dr Oside, a general surgery registrar with one ENT resident, Dr Mogbolu on ground, under supervision by the Head of Surgery Department. The two staff however left soon after and the ENT unit apparently closed. An ENT resident (Dr Undie) employed later in this period was seconded to UCH Ibadan for ORL residency and only returned to UBTH to complete her senior residency when the unit was reopened.

With the return of Prof Ogisi in 1998, the task of reorganising service delivery and teaching/residency training in ENT was embarked upon in earnest. With the great support of the hospital administration, more equipment and instruments were procured and more bed space allocated. Residents were employed in batches, and within 5 years or so, with the kind assistance and support of Dr Okujaye and Dr Odogwu as Visiting Consultants, Partial Accreditation was granted to UBTH for ENT training.

Meanwhile a section of the uncompleted and previously abandoned Accident and Emergency complex of the hospital was identified and refurbished and developed into a 10 to 12 – roomed outpatient department which the ENT unit then moved into –  with four consulting rooms, audiometry/audiology rooms with soundproof booth, treatment room, endoscopy/vestibular-caloric test room, speech pathology room, library/seminar room and temporal bone laboratory with further expansion envisaged. The unit also acquired a dedicated ENT ward, first in the A&E block, then in the main hospital (22 beds). More equipment also arrived including an additional operating microscope and fibre-optic nasopharyngoscope (from the VAMED Federal Govt. programme), two consoles and ototome electric drill for ear surgery.  Concurrently more supporting staff were added in audiology, as well as well as ENT nurses and an  increasing numbers of residents. With this impressive development and growth, ENT was soon accorded departmental status in the hospital; a similar progression in the University was to come later.  Accreditation status of course moved shortly to full accreditation, now subsisting.

Mission Statement:

To Work as a team to provide our clients with affordable, quality, evidence-based Ear, Nose Throat, Head and Neck Surgery services in a warm and compassionate environment.

Vision Statement:

To be the leader in providing quality, patient centred Ear, Nose Throat, head and Neck Services solutions in Nigeria.

Objectives of the Department:

Train medical students to recognize and manage diseases affecting the Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck.

To carry out research on the diseases affecting the head and neck region.

Staff welfare- To provide an enabling environment for self actualization.

Academic Staff:

S/NNamesStatusQualificationsurl link to Google Scholar account
1.Paul O. C  AdobamenProfessorMBBS, FWACS, FMCORLhttps://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=paul+adobamen&oq=paul+adob
2.Amina Lami OkhakhuAssociate ProfessorMBBS, FWACS, FMCORLhttps://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=amina+okhakhu&oq=amina+okha
3.Ngozi Carol OnyeagwaraAssociate ProfessorMBBS, FWACS, FMCORLhttps://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=ngozi+onyeagwara&oq=ngozi+onyea
4.Ogechi I. AkpalabaAdjunct LecturerMBBS, FWACS, FMCORL 
5Oghogho E. Braimah Adjunct LecturerMBBS, FWACS 

Ag. Head of Department: Dr. Amina Okhakhu