Medical Expert Says Cause of Uterine Fibroids Unknown

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By Austin Udueni in Port Harcourt

The cause of uterine fibroids, which afflicts more than 50 per cent of women, is yet unknown, a reproductive physician has declared. 

Speaking in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Saturday during a knowledge event to commemorate the 18th anniversary of OB Lulu-Briggs Foundation, a consultant obstetrician/gynecologist with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Dr. Rosemary Nkemdilim Ogu, said although many researches and studies had been conducted on the unwanted growth in women’s wombs, the causes are yet to be determined.

“Concerning the causes of fibroids,” Dr. Ogu said, “we don’t know. So many researches and studies have been carried out, but no one knows the causes,” adding, however, “But we know there are genetic and hormonal factors.”

Her paper, “Raising Awareness about Uterine Fibroids – Get Informed; Take Action was the lead presentation of the health awareness/sensitization seminar on uterine fibroids, which OB Lulu-Briggs Foundation used to kick-start its free fibroids surgery largesse to 100 patients.

The physician said uterine fibroids is more common among Africans and counseled women that it is better to have fibroids surgery here “because more of the surgeries are done here.”

She confirmed the fear that fibroids could grow again in a woman’s womb after it has been removed surgically. “When you are operated for fibroids and the womb is left empty by not getting pregnant, the fibroids can come back after three years, Dr. Ogu said.

She also said a virgin womb, that is, a womb that has never carried a baby, can play host to fibroids growth.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of OB Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Pastor (Dr.) Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs, said she founded the Foundation on September 21, 2001, adding, “I did so to honour, celebrate, structure and institutionalise the prolific giving of my husband, High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs, whose love and commitment to humanity shone through his charitable and philanthropic acts, that broadly categorized, equipped, empowered and enabled people, particularly the most vulnerable and under-served, to live full, purposeful and dignified lives.”

She noted that this year’s anniversary was the first after the demise of her husband who passed on last December 27.

She revealed that in this medical largesse, 100 women who require the surgery but cannot afford the expensive cost of fibroids removal surgery would undergo the procedure free of charge in partnership with the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

On why the foundation decided to focus on fibroids this year, the coordinator of programmes of OB Lulu Briggs Foundation, Mrs Ineba Tongkam, said it was borne from an experience brought about by the foundation’s recent free medical mission.

According to her, “the initiative for raising awareness about uterine fibroids came about as a result of the experience we encountered during the Foundation’s recent Free Medical Mission in Bakana, Rivers State, from May 20 to 24, 2019.”

The event took place at the La Sien Pavilion, 22, Forces Road, Port Harcourt.

The OB Lulu-Briggs Foundation was founded in 2001 to consolidate the informal corporate social responsibility efforts of the founder of Moni Pulo, High Chief OB Lulu-Briggs, who passed on last December, by his wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Seinye OB Lulu-Briggs, who is the chairman, Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

The Foundation’s Medical Missions Programme started out as the Care for Life Quarterly Free Medical Week in Abonnema, Rivers State, in 2005.  Since then,124,826 men, women and children in rural and semi-urban areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states have received access to quality health care services and health awareness education free of charge.

The Foundation has also responded to huge un-met demand for ophthalmic care across the Niger Delta by taking vison care clinics to communities to promote good vision for all and help prevent conditions that routinely impair sight. The Foundation also promotes preventive health through awareness raising campaigns and covers the costs of specialized medical treatments for individuals from indigent families.

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