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The Dad and senior Doctor delivering world class care to local women

Dr Efe Obudu

Dr Efe Obudu has wanted to be a doctor ever since he was a six-year-old boy living in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Peninsula Health almost chose to follow his father’s footsteps and join the Navy, before deciding to follow his childhood dream.

“I was just a kid playing games when I fell over and broke my arm so my Dad took me to hospital,” recalls Dr Obudu.

“The doctor who treated me was the nicest guy ever – I had such a great experience and I can still remember his face very well.”

“When I got to school with my cast on I think I was the most popular kid in the school,” laughs Dr Obudu.

“But it made me think maybe I can do this, maybe I can be a doctor and give other people a really positive experience.”

Dr Obudu went on to train at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos and completed his internship and required year of national service in Nigeria, setting up and running clinics and educating locals in remote communities.

“There were traditional birth attendants in the local communities, who were older women who looked after the younger women when they are pregnant and through childbirth.”

“We’d teach them little things that could make a big difference, like washing your hands with soapy water; and early warning signs for women who might be getting into trouble in labour. Because these villages were far from the city, women needed to be transferred early so they can get help in time.”

“Looking back now I think the seed must have been sown then to specialise in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.”

Dr Obudu moved to England where he completed all of his post-graduate training and qualified as a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. He then worked in New Zealand for three years before moving to Australia and starting at Peninsula Health in September 2016.

Dr Obudu brings a wealth of experience from working in some of the world’s best hospitals to Peninsula Health, where he is leading the team setting up a Hysteroscopy Clinic and Miscarriage Care Clinic funded by a grant from Better Care Victoria.

“The Miscarriage Care Clinic is the first of its kind in Australia,” explains Dr Obudu.

“The procedure is done using manual vacuum aspiration, which is very popular in other parts of the world like the UK and America. When we introduced the service in New Zealand it was very well received.”

The clinics offer an alternative treatment option for women, where they do not need to have a general anaesthetic.

“These two services are about putting the patient at the centre of the care we provide; we fit into the patient’s daily schedule rather than the other way around,” explains Dr Obudu.

“Recovery time is quicker, there is less risk with no general anaesthetic and women are able to get back into family life and work.”

“It also benefits the hospital as it frees up inpatient beds, theatre space and recovery areas for other cases.”

A father himself to a four-year-old son Nathan, Dr Obudu has delivered 1000s of babies over the course of his career.

“I’ve been here for 18 months now so I’ve seen some patients full circle.”

“I’ve even looked after members of the same family. I delivered a woman’s baby with forceps then a few months later I performed emergency surgery on her sister. The grandmother recognised me and thanked me saying ‘you saved both of my daughters’, which was really nice.”

Dr Obudu is enjoying bringing world-class care to women on the Peninsula and also the lifestyle living in the area offers.

“It reminds me a lot of home – with the beach and being close to the water.”

“I just learnt how to swim late last year, so on hot days I’ll be out stand up paddle boarding or kayaking. This winter I’m planning to go snowboarding and try out the slopes here in Victoria.”

Dr Obudu with a patient and her newborn

Bigger Better Frankston Hospital

Women’s Services at Frankston Hospital are set to expand if plans for a proposed re-development of Frankston Hospital are approved.

Take a look at the plans here.

Jessica Mills
JMills@phcn.vic.gov.au