Dr Mustapha Bittaye is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist currently working with the Vaccines and Immunity Theme on the Protecting From Pneumococcus in Early Life (PROPEL) clinical trial.
Dr Bittaye has been working with the PROPEL project for a little over one year and had served as a collaborator even earlier. His research focuses on vaccinating pregnant women with the pneumococcal vaccines to reduce childhood diseases among newborns especially in the first six months of life.
As the Obstetrician for this trial, Dr Bittaye has a wealth of experience in obstetric care having worked at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (premier hospital in Ghana) as a Resident and Specialist. He continues to provide clinical services at EFSTH as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.
The critical role Dr Bittaye plays within the PROPEL study facilitates the timely obstetrics intervention to avoid maternal morbidity and mortality. He has also helped in training midwives in obstetric emergency management. In addition, he has helped to establish the ultrasound scanning facility which the trial is using to determine gestational age in expectant mothers enrolled in the trial. In his role at EFSTH he has served as a bridge between the trial and the main referral hospital.
To demonstrate his research during the MRCG Festival, Dr Bittaye will discuss the different parameters used in pregnancy to determine gestational age. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness first-hand the process of determining the gestational age through scanning, for example measuring the thigh bone or the size of the head.
This information is important to this study as the exact gestational age during the pregnancy is used to determine when the vaccine should be administered. In The Gambia, many women do not remember their last menstrual period, which is commonly could be used also to calculate their expected date of deliveries.
Dr Bittaye and senior trail midwife Mr Buba Jadama using ultrasound to measure the gestational age in pregnancyWhen asked about his expectations for the event, Dr Bittaye said, “I am happy to contribute a little to the general public understanding of how gestational age is assessed using scan. I hope will encourage them to learn more about pregnancy and the importance of antenatal care in ensuring a positive pregnancy outcome.
Dr Bittaye’s research interest is in gynae-oncology. He was trained as an undergraduate in the school of medicine, University of The Gambia. He completed his fellowship training with the West African College of Surgeons in April 2016. His main reason for joining MRC Unit The Gambia is to learn more about quality research and hopefully to take these skills back to EFSTH to engage in independent competitive research mainly in the areas of obstetrics and gynae-oncology.
Beyond research, Dr Bittaye is passionate about gender-based violence prevention and likes to play soccer when he has time between is very many other commitments.