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Blog: Sims Black Travelling Professorship 2023

13 Jun 2024

Professor Dilly OC Anumba, FRCOG, is the Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Honorary Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, at The University of Sheffield. Read about Professor Dilly OC Anumba experience of winning the Sims Black Travelling Professorship in 2023.

In 2023, I was delighted to visit Ghana as the RCOG Sims Black Travelling Professor, after receiving a nomination from the Ghanaian obstetrics and gynaecology community of practice and the Chair of the International Representative Committee, Dr Edem Hiadzi.

The Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) training programme is the most recent subspecialty implemented by the Faculty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GCPS). Subspecialty training programs play a crucial role in enhancing the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals, ensuring high-quality care for patients and helping doctors to acquire specialised expertise and to stay up to date with the latest advancements in their field. Having contributed to the evolution of the RCOG MFM curriculum, developing a successful training programme in Sheffield, and serving on numerous RCOG postgraduate, academic and subspecialty training committees and Boards, I was honoured to be offered the opportunity of the Fellowship to share my experience in Ghana.

I spent my first week in Accra at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where I participated in daily departmental meetings, ward rounds, specialised clinics and case-based discussions. I attended the Fetal Assessment Centre and engaged with registrars and MFM fellows conducting fetal anomaly scans and managing cases. The MFM programme leaders have clearly prioritised ultrasound simulation training that covers basic and anomaly scanning and MFM fellows must attain a satisfactory level of competence in simulation anomaly scanning before ’graduating’ to live scanning of patients. Our demonstrations were therefore pitched at higher competence levels: counselling patients, discussing management options and recruiting multidisciplinary input into care of the pregnancy. The multidisciplinary care model ensured that tertiary referral level service care standards were in operation and also informed the joint obstetrics and medicine clinics for women with medical conditions in pregnancy. My overall impression was that Korle Bu is emerging as a model of successful MFM training in a resource-limited setting.

Over the following days, I delivered several lectures to MFM trainees and participated in interactive sessions based around the modern management (prevention and mitigation) of preterm birth. The sessions focused on dealing with the challenge of antimicrobial resistance in the prevention and treatment of sepsis and the management of thrombophilia. Korle Bu is making significant progress in incorporating research into clinical care, which is largely funded locally and by donor agencies and charities.

With my time in Accra drawing to a close, I attended the Annual Conference of the Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Ghana and met many Fellows and Members of the RCOG. I visited Professor Adanu, the rector of the Ghana Postgraduate College of Physicians and Surgeons and identified several potential areas of partnership between our colleges. I then concluded the first leg of the programme by participating in a micro-research training workshop for early career researchers, organised by the Dalhousie University in Canada and delivered in partnership with local researchers, and sharing the highs and lows of my own research career journey.

The second leg of the trip would take me to the lovely leafy city of Kumasi where I met with colleagues at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). I attended morning departmental meetings and presented on the challenges of preterm birth management in a resource-limited setting. Participating in several Teaching Grand Ward Rounds also enabled me to discuss clinical cases and offer additional perspectives. I then led several ultrasound scans of complex fetal cases and discussions of management approaches before helping to facilitate a research proposal review panel made up researchers and supervisors. We used the panel to offer critical feedback and suggestions on project proposals for the MFM trainees at Kumasi, who were clearly very enthusiastic about clinical research.

I rounded off my time in Kumasi with a virtual lecture to more than 100 obstetricians from Ghana and neighbouring West African countries. I reviewed the compelling evidence across a range of global contexts and countries proving that MFM services improve birth outcomes. In the second part of the talk, I outlined the role of the RCOG in advancing global women’s health and how collaboration between Ghana and the RCOG could be strengthened. Ultimately, my time in Kumasi highlighted the opportunities for further collaboration between the Kumasi and Accra MFM programmes around basic and intermediate ultrasound training using the simulation resources at Korle Bu.

As my visit wound down, I returned to Accra, to attend the multidisciplinary sickle cell disease in pregnancy clinic at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The clinic provides an exemplary care model for reducing maternal mortality from this devastating condition, and is certainly worth replicating in other contexts.

Ghana is making great strides in providing MFM specialty training and practice despite resource limitations. The programme has already produced ten MFM specialists, many of whom I met in Accra and Kumasi. I am confident that my visit will further facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration and capacity building between Ghana and counterparts in the UK. I hope that sharing my expertise and experiences inspired obstetrics and MFM specialists and trainees to aspire towards continuous learning and professional growth to the benefit of women’s health in Ghana.


Professor Dilly OC Anumba, MBBS FWACS FRCOG MD LL.M (Medical Law)

Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Honorary Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, Subspecialist in Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine & Population Health

Faculty of Health, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom


  • To find out more about the Sims Black Award click here. 
  • Careers and workforce
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Gynaecology