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Mother and child in the hands of Gynaoobstetrician

The first thing that attracts the eye about this book, even from a distance, is the beautiful colour combination of the  cover page. The artistic impression of a pregnant woman and her child compliments the beauty, as well as gives the impression that the author’s major concern is the woman and the family.

Dr. B.U. Ezem is a product of Government College, Ibadan. He was awarded the open scholarship to study medicine in the  University of Ibadan, following his brilliant Advanced Level result in the General Certificate of Education examination. On graduation in 1971 and after a brief stay in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Ezem, proceded to the United Kingdom to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
After obtaining his specialist qualification (MRCOG) in 1977, Dr. Ezem promptly returned to Nigeria. He has been a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist since 1980 and has garnered rich experience, having worked in the North, West and Eastern parts of Nigeria. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, National Medical College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and West African College of Surgeons.

He is presently the Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu, and a part time Consultant, Saint Elizabeth Specialist Hospital and Maternity, Owerri. A cursory study of his profile shows that Dr. Ezem, after over 37 years in practice, most of which have been in Obstetrics and Gynaecologists, is eminently qualified to write this book.

Dr. A.M. Sanwo and his wife confirmed this in the book’s forward. “In this book, which covers a wide spectrum of obstetrics and gynecology, the author has managed to simplify the subject so admirably that almost all can easily come to grips with the subject matter. This book is a must read for everyone, particularly for women, pregnant or not pregnant. It is also recommended for nurses, midwives, students of health technology, education and medicine”, the Sanwos prescribed.

The book is laid out into 20 solid chapters and equally has a well chronicled index. His narrative remains legendary. In treating all the issues contained in the book, Dr. Ezem makes reading and comprehension very simple, despite the technical nature of the topic.

He dedicated chapter one for the treatment of the pelvis, pelvic assessment, puberty and menstruation, while chapters two and three looked into the placenta, sex determination, sex selection, diagnosis of pregnancy, physiological changes in pregnancy, common pregnancy problems, oedema, nutrition in pregnancy, exercise in pregnancy and sex in pregnancy.

Twelve pages of the book are carved out for the treatment of what happens in ante-natal clinics. Issues relating to congenital abnormalities, drugs and pregnancy, x-rays in pregnancy and ultrasound in pregnancy are found in pages 66-74. Early complications of pregnancy spanned through pages 75-91.

Dr. Ezem discussed fetal well-being, late pregnancy complications, preparations for the baby and labour from pages 92-144. As a high point in the entire reproductive process, Ezem discussed normal labour, stages of labour, preparation for labour, physiology of labour, monitoring the foetus in labour, problems of the second stage of labour, malpositions of the fetal head, obstructed labour, management and problems of the third stage of labour and post-partum haemorrhage.

Chapters 11, 12 , 13 focus on the new born baby, breast-feeding and childhood problems, which include prematurity, congenital abnormality, neonatal abnormality, gastroenteritis, convulsions, tongue tie, mongolism and jaundice.
Dr. Ezem equally gave commensurate attention to postnatal period, obstetrics and gynecological operations, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, infertility and other miscellaneous issues, which border on cancer of the breast, cancer of the cervix, fibroid; violence against women, maternal mortality and obesity.

In his usual humble disposition, the author dedicated what would have been the 20th chapter to making a passionate appeal for his readers to send in their feedback. He acknowledged that this was the first edition of the book and did not expect it to be a perfect document.

“This is the first edition of this book and I don’t expect it to be a perfect document. Your feedback is needed to improve on the second edition. Please reach me and let me have your comments and suggestions”, the author pleaded. A few observable mistakes are also noticeable in the book. For instance, the author indulges sadly into block writing.

This anomaly is most prominent on pages 47-49, 72, 173 and 221. The ideas contained these pages could have been beautifully laid out in short, crisp and manageable paragraphs for easy comprehension and ease  reference.

There are also some grammatical mistakes, possibly occasioned by the inability of the proof readers and computer operators to identifying and correcting them before printing. An instance is “due a to disease” on page 44.


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