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‘Babies born with birth defects, unacceptable’• as abnormality ultrasound scan services commences at UCH
Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Temitope Alonge has frown on pregnant women giving birth to abnormal babies despite expertise to detect and treat some of such babies, declaring that it was unacceptable.
Professor Alonge, speaking at the training of health experts on the use of ultrasound machines to detect abnormal babies at the hospital, stated through an anomaly scan with the ultrasound machine, women’s fear of delivering an abnormal baby can be allayed.
At the training, which is the first on foeto-maternal medicines in a government hospital, Professor Alonge stated that anomaly scan in developed countries had become a routine test.
He declared, “UCH deserves such a service and empowering radiologist and gynaecologists to take this training makes me very excited because for a woman to carry a pregnancy for the nine months and afterwards we discover that her baby is abnormal is not acceptable.”
Professor Alonge, reiterating that abnormality scan will be done between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, stated that the complete scan of the unborn baby takes between 45 minutes and one hour.
According to him, “the procedure involves scanning the unborn child from head to toe—skull, brain, spine, fingers and all organs of the body to be sure they are complete.”
The CMD stated that the hospital was following up abnormality ultrasound scan services with the provision of interventional obstetric care.
According to him, “if a defect in the heart is found and it is treatable, we will open the woman up, bring out the baby from the womb and repair the defect. Then the baby is returned back inside the womb and the womb closed up.”
Professor Alonge, while stating that abnormality scan was going to be optional because it was going to be an extra cost, assured that the hospital through health education programmes intended to inform women on the consequences of abnormality in babies.
Dr Dilichukwu Anumba, the trainer and specialist in maternal and foetal medicine, University of Sheffield Teaching Hospital, emphasised that ultrasound scanning in pregnancy was safe and with appropriate training of health experts, babies with problems can be identified and appropriate treatment prescribed to remedy the abnormality in some cases.
Dr Anumba, arguing that Nigeria should establish a foetal maternal services for high risk situations, stated that over 50 different things could account for why babies were born with abnormality.
According to him, “some of these abnormalities are inherited problems, some are accidents of development, some due to drugs that the women take early in pregnancy or X-ray. “
He affirmed that it was usually traumatic when abnormal babies were born, adding that some cases of still birth and miscarriages were due to abnormality in such babies.
Meanwhile Professor Ayo Arowojolu, head of department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the hospital has said that between two and three per cent of women give birth to abnormal babies, world over.
Professor Arowojolu added that the chances of a woman giving birth to an abnormal baby increased with problems in pregnancy such as diabetes and irrational use of medicines.Share