Paediatrics & Child Health Department

The Department of Paediatrics is the main health care providing site for children in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria which comprises the following states: Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Cross River and Enugu.
It is also a teaching site for Residents and students in Paediatrics and Child Health and provides opportunities for research.

There are Six main branches of the Paediatrics Department that include; the Emergency Unit (worthy of note is this stated in the Service Charter: “It is the policy of the emergency room to admit, diagnose and treat any emergency within the first 24 hours without recourse to the patient’s ability to pay for services or insurance coverage.”),  Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), Children’s wards (1 & 2), Out-Patient Clinic, the Diarrhoea Training Unit (DTU) and Consultant Paediatric Clinics in the following specialty areas: Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Haematology, Oncology, Social and Preventive Paediatrics, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, Infectious disease, Respiratology, Cardiology, and Adolescent medicine.

History of the Department

The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health was established in May 1980 in the then Institute of Health Sciences of the University of Port Harcourt.  Its pioneer staff were Dr. L. T. Mbuagbaw and Dr. R. S. Oruamabo who both assumed duty on 1st May 1980 and 2nd May 1980 respectively, Dr. L. T. Mbuagbaw was the First Head of Department and remained head until 1984 when he left for Cameroun.

They were joined by Drs. G. O. Okoji and F. U. Chira as pioneer medical officers. They became the first set of Residents later.

The Institute of Health Science between 1980 and 1982 ran the B.MED. Sciences programme and only students who graduated with a minimum of second class lower division after a four-year programme were admitted into the M.B.B.S programme for another three years.

The Institute changed to the collegiate system in 1982 and by 1983 when there was dire need of an appropriate clinical training centre that would also meet accreditation requirement.  This necessitated the movement of the hospital from Emohua to the Rivers State Government-owned General hospital in Port Harcourt Township under the headship of Prof. A. A. Obuoforibo, who was the second Provost of the College and Chief Medical Director of the hospital.  This movement gave the opportunity for the growth of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health both in its undergraduate, postgraduate and healthcare service delivery programmes.  The hospital finally moved to its permanent site at Alakahia in 2006.

The second set of Residents include Drs. Idigo, N. A. Akani, A. Okah, A.A Asinnobi, Alikor E.A.D and in 1986 Dr. A. U. Eneh who transferred from the Department of Medicine.  Drs. Alikor, Asinobi, and Okah later left for University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Dr. (Mrs.) F. Eke joined the department in 1985 and assumed headship of the Department until 1986.  Thereafter, Dr. R. S. Oruamabo became the head.  During this period, some staff of the General Hospital worked in collaboration with the department and these included Drs. C. T. Wari-Toby, Ogunkunle, and Arora, although the last two left.  Some visiting lecturers also contributed their quota.

For adequate training of the medical students and residents, the following facilities were established in the hospital.

  1. Children’s Emergency Ward (CHEW)
  2. Children’s Medical Wards which operates two wards each with a capacity of 48 beds with the possibility of horizontal expansion.
  3. Special Care Baby Unit and Newborn Intensive Care Unit: This is made up of two inborn and one outborn wards.                       
  4. Clinics: There are General Outpatients’ clinic and Consultants’ clinics. Today, we run specialty clinics like Neonatology, Nephrology, Endocrinology, Haemoatology, Oncology and Palliative, Neurology, Cardiology, Community Paediatrics, Infectious Disease, and Adolescent clinic

The Department relocated to its 2-storey building permanent block in 2010. This block has the children emergency ward (CHEW), children outpatient (CHOP), clinic, consultant paediatric clinic (CPC), diarrhoea and respiratory training unit, side laboratory and a satellite pharmacy on the ground floor. 

Staff Strength

The Department which started off with only 2 lecturers has through its activities and capacity building increased its staff strength to 20 with the following cadres: nine (9) Professors, twelve (12) Senior lecturers. Apart from three Professors, the other members of staff started and finished their residency programmes at the UPTH and were subsequently employed by the University for the Department. Prof. R. S. Oruamabo retired in 2007 and Prof. F Eke in 2017. 

S/N Name Qualification Specially Rank  
1 Prof. Kanu E. O. Nkanginieme  MBBS (Ibadan) 1978  FWACP 1986 FMCPaed 1986   Medical Education/Haematology Professor
2 Prof. Alice. R  Nte MBBS (Ibadan)1981 FWACP 1993   Preventive Paediatrics   Professor
3   Prof. Ifeoma C. Anochie MBBS (Benin)1989 FWACP 1998     Nephrology Professor
4 Prof. Augusta U. Eneh       MBBS (Benin) 1982 FWACP 1996   Neonatology Professor
5 Prof. Nwaduito A. Akani MBBS (Ibadan)1981 FMCPaed 1997 Social Paediatrics/ Oncology Professor
6. Prof. Edward A.D. Alikor MBBS (Ibadan) 1980 FWACP 1993 M.SC London 1991   Neurology/Respiratology Professor
7 Prof. Angela. I.  Frank-Briggs BMBch (Jos) 1992 FMC Paed 2004   Neurology/Respiratology Professor
8 Prof. Rosemary  Ugwu MBBS (UNN) 1989 FWACP 2004 Paediatric Infectious disease Professor
9     Prof. Barbara E. Otaigbe MBBCH (Jos) 1991 FWACP 2002 FPaed Card 2009   Cardiology Professor,
10 Dr. Innocent George MBBS (UNN) 1995 FMC Paed 2006   Haematology Senior Lecturer
11 Dr. Peace I. Opara     MBBS (UPH) 1995 FwACP 2006   Neonatology Senior Lecturer
12 Dr. Gracia K. Eke   MBBS 1995 FMC Paed 2006   Gastroenterology/Oncology Senior Lecturer
13 Dr.  Petronilla Tabansi MBBS (Jos) 1996 FMCPaed 2007, FWACP 2007 Cardiology Senior Lecturer
14 Dr. Balafama Alex-Hart MBBS (UPH) 1994 FWACP 2008 Preventive Paediatrics Senior Lecturer
15 Dr. Lucy Yaguo-Ide. MBBS (UPH) 1992 FMCPaed 2008 Preventive Paediatrics Senior Lecturer
16 Dr. Tamunopreye Jaja MBBS (UPH) 1997 FMCPaed 2008 FESPE 2014 Endocrinology Senior Lecturer
17 Dr. Augustina N. Okpere MBBS (Benin) FWACP 2010 Nephrology Senior Lecturer
18 Dr. Nsirimobi Paul MBBS (UPH) 1997 FWACP 2010 Paediatric Infectious disease Senior Lecturer
19 Dr. Iroro Yerhere MBBS (UPH) 2003 FESPE 2009 FWACP 2011 Endocrinology Senior Lecturer
20 Dr. Boma Okoh MBBS (UPH) 2003 FMCPaed 2010 FWACP 2012 Neurology/Respiratology Senior Lecturer
21 Dr. Joyce Okagua MBBS (UPH) 2000 FWACP 2012 Neonatology Senior Lecturer

As at October 2018, the Department has a formidable roll call of 40 Resident Doctors, 75 Nursing Staff, and 6 Administrative Staff of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

The Department of Paediatrics uses the Firm System of operations–and there are 10 Firms as follows:

Firm A1- Paediatrics Infectious Disease

Firm A2- Endocrinology

Firm B1- Nephrology

Firm B2- Neonatology

Firm C1- Preventive Paediatrics

Firm C2- Oncology/Social Paediatrics/Adolescent Health

Firm D1- Cardiology

Firm D2- Haematology

Firm E-    Neurology/Respiratology

Children Emergency Unit.

For more details on the scope of work see UPTH Service Charter.
For Protocol of service; see UPTH Service Charter.