RMB Solutionist Thinking
4198-bruce-whitfield-solutionist-series-season2-banner-700x300jpg

Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

RMB Solutionist Thinking is a podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield which focusses on great South African minds thinking differently and going against the norm. In this episode in the second series, Whitfield interviews Professor Ermos Nicolaou, Academic Head at Wits Maternal Foetal Medicine Centre.

A local doctor supported by an international team of experts recently performed Africa's first in-utero spinal surgery at Morningside Clinic. While it sounds like something from science fiction, the surgery was to treat Spina Bifida — a birth defect that affects the development of the baby's spine.

In a medical first on the continent, Specialist in Maternal and Foetal Medicine, Professor Ermos Nicolaou performed the intricate, groundbreaking spinal repair procedure — on a baby, still in its mother's womb at the gestational age of 25 week old. The procedure involved penetrating the uterine wall using tiny instruments to stop the inflammatory process that typically leads to nerve damage and other abnormalities.

This is a level up, this is now proper surgery where you actually would operate on the baby like you would do when the baby is born.

Professor Ermos Nicolaou, Academic Head – Wits Maternal Foetal Medicine Centre

Until now, parents were presented with two options: termination of the pregnancy or waiting until after delivery before performing several corrective surgeries to repair the spine and, affected organs and limbs.

Suddenly that prognosis changes dramatically because if you can fix the problem in the womb, the child has got a far better chance of having a normal life.

Professor Ermos Nicolaou, Academic Head – Wits Maternal Foetal Medicine Centre

In this case, the diagnosis was made at 21 weeks, affording the parents adequate time to make a decision ahead of the 25 week mark — which leaves the baby a chance of survival, should something go wrong during the operation.

The parents received extensive counselling to understand the condition, its consequences and the options available to the baby.

The feeling of enabling a child to actually have a reasonable life, almost normal life. That for me is priceless. That's exactly what we have been doing with our lives. And that's exactly what the aim was of this surgery.

Professor Ermos Nicolaou, Academic Head – Wits Maternal Foetal Medicine Centre

The baby, still in its mother's womb and still growing stronger and stronger, is expected to arrive in July and stands a far better chance at leading an uncomplicated life, thanks to Solutionist Thinker, Professor Ermos Nicolaou.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

As one of the founding fathers of internet businesses in South Africa, Jason Xenopoulos’ digital rap sheet is longer than most.

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

When the story of the winemaker can add as much to wine, as the origin of the grape.

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

William Mapham pioneered Vula Mobile, the app that links healthcare workers with on-call medical and surgical specialists.

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet Benji Coetzee, a tech disruptor transforming the face of the male-dominated freight transport industry.

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

Rowing coach Roger Barrow shares his love for winning - especially against better-resourced teams.

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

South African fintech venture, Yoco is ensuring that SMEs become the driving force behind wealth development within communities.

Popular articles
DA to decide if Herman Mashaba will serve his notice period or get cut loose

DA to decide if Herman Mashaba will serve his notice period or get cut loose

It's reported that some senior members of the Democratic Alliance want Mashaba's membership terminated with immediate effect.

'Audit found Mango and Comair planes were signed off by unqualified persons'

'Audit found Mango and Comair planes were signed off by unqualified persons'

The South African Civil Aviation Authority explains some of the findings of its maintenance audit at SAA Technical.

'I want to ensure my money delivers change to as many people as possible'

'I want to ensure my money delivers change to as many people as possible'

Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu on his attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

'Mbete faced difficult questions. She has done a lot in terms of responding'

'Mbete faced difficult questions. She has done a lot in terms of responding'

Xolani Xala (SA Business Abroad) defends his defence of ANC stalwart Baleka Mbete’s "car crash" interview on Al Jazeera.

[WATCH] Oprah roasts student about his cracked phone, then buys him a new one

[WATCH] Oprah roasts student about his cracked phone, then buys him a new one

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Why Vestact is buying Discovery (JSE), Long4Life (JSE) and Booking.com

Why Vestact is buying Discovery (JSE), Long4Life (JSE) and Booking.com

Portfolio Manager Byron Lotter shares his stock picks of the week with Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show.

[LISTEN] What you need to know about new revenge porn laws

[LISTEN] What you need to know about new revenge porn laws

A person found guilty of so-called 'revenge porn' could now face up to four years in prison or a fine of up to R300,000.

[WATCH] Toddler upset that mom didn't give him a goodbye kiss, is so adorable

[WATCH] Toddler upset that mom didn't give him a goodbye kiss, is so adorable

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] Boy explaining what he heard when parents had sex goes viral

[WATCH] Boy explaining what he heard when parents had sex goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.