𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗰 𝗠𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗔𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗙𝗼𝗲𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝘁 𝗥𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗧𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗛𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹

In a significant stride towards advanced healthcare for expectant mothers and their unborn children, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital unveiled the first-ever Foetomaternal Medicine Unit in Rivers State and one of the very few in Nigeria. The inauguration ceremony was held on the 20th of October, 2023, and marked a historic moment in the region’s medical landscape.

The Foetomaternal Medicine Unit, a state-of-the-art facility, aims to provide comprehensive care to pregnant women and their babies, addressing a wide range of complex maternal and fetal conditions. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and staffed by highly skilled healthcare professionals, the unit is poised to become a beacon of hope for mothers in the region, ensuring their well-being and that of their newborns.

The Acting Chief Medical Director of Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Professor Chinzindu A. Alikor expressed his enthusiasm about the new unit, stating, “This milestone achievement underscores our commitment to enhancing maternal and child healthcare in Rivers State and in Nigeria at large. The Foetomaternal Medicine unit will be a centre of excellence in Nigeria, where referrals from other centres will be sent, post-fellowship training and subspecialisation in Foetomaternal medicine will be conducted, our Resident doctors will be trained and to crown it all, impactful research projects will be carried out. He thanked His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, DSSRS, the Executive Governor of Rivers State for his commitment and ongoing support to improving healthcare delivery for Rivers People which has motivated the creation of the Foetomaternal Medicine unit in RSUTH.

Professor Mkpe Abbey, a renowned Professor of Foetomaternal medicine and community obstetrics, who will be leading the unit, shared his vision, saying that Regarding practical services, the unit will revolutionise the practise of feotal medicine in the country. Women will be screened for preterm birth birth, preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, chromosomal abnormalities, congenital abnormalities in general, TTTS in monochorionic pregnancies and placenta accrete spectrum. The whole idea is to screen for those conditions that kill babies and mothers early in pregnancy so that prophylactic measures can be put in place. Preterm birth is associated with more than 50% of foetuses and babies that die. Preeclampsia/eclampsia is responsible for more than 25% of babies and 25% mothers who die. So, a situation whereby we screen for these conditions and prevent more than 50% of the deaths that would have occurred is a great fit in the healthcare landscape of the state.

The unit will conduct Evidence-based growth monitoring, including doppler studies such as Umbilical Artery Doppler, Middle Cerebral Artery, and Ductus Venosus, predict babies that are likely to die and recommend earlier delivery. The unit will also run early pregnancy and gynaecological ultrasound services as including One-stop early pregnancy services for early pregnancy bleeding and Etopic Pregnancies, one-stop screening for Gynaecological Oncology namely checking for Endometrial thickness and Endometrial biopsy with the availability of pipelle. Furthermore, the unit will develop to be specialised feotal medicine units, including feotal surgery, and also strive to be a centre for IOTA study and guidelines in Nigeria.

The Foetomaternal Medicine Unit at Rivers State University Teaching Hospital stands as a testament to the region’s progress in healthcare. Its opening signifies a new era of advanced medical care, providing hope and assurance to countless expectant mothers and their families.


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