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An Uphill Battle

Ten years ago, Dr. James Saunders, a DHMC otolaryngologist, founded Mayflower Medical Outreach, a nonprofit organization that provides hearing-related health services in Nicaragua. Over the years, the organization's involvement has grown. In 2008, it opened a home in the rural town of Jinotega for hearing-impaired children. At the same time, Saunders has been conducting research on the causes of widespread hearing loss in Nicaragua. Recently, he and Benjamin Jastrzembski, a 2008 graduate of Dartmouth College, began studying hearing loss among miners in the isolated mining triangle in northeastern Nicaragua. Jastrzembski spent 10 months in this area from 2008 to 2009 on a Fulbright fellowship, studying the history of artisanal mining. In July 2009, he talked to Dartmouth Medicine about his time in Nicaragua. In the video below, he discusses artisanal mining, what he learned during his stay in Nicaragua, and the research he and Saunders are conducting. Also below are a Spanish-language video in which Jastrzembski talks about his work, a video Jastrzembski made about artisanal mining, and photos of some of the work being done in Nicaragua by Saunders and other volunteers with Mayflower Medical Outreach. To read more about the work of Saunders, Jastrzembski, and other members of the Dartmouth community in Nicaragua, read "An Uphill Battle" from the Winter 2009 issue of Dartmouth Medicine.

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