Rheumatology Unit

History of Rheumatology unit

The rheumatology unit was established in February 2013. The pioneer Consultant Physician/ Rheumatologist was Dr Okwara Celestine Chibuzo. He is a fellow of the West African College of Physicians and a member of  the Nigerian Rheumatology Society and African League of Associations for Rheumatology.


List of staff members

  • Prof  Ozoh Gladys  (dermatologist, as unit supervisor)
  • Dr Okwara Chibuzo Celestine (Pioneer Consultant Rheumatologist)
  • Dr Ezike Chioma Harriet (Post fellowship Senior registrar)
  • Registrar: as posted by the department
  • 5 Nurses
  • 2 Secretaries
  • Orderlies and cleaners


Areas of Success

The unit can boast of the successful take off of teaching and demonstration of rheumatological principles to students and residents in the unit. It has also conducted the diagnosis and successful treatment of non- traumatic and multi system autoimmune disorders such as Gout Osteoarthritis,Spondylosis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Mixed connective tissue disease, Spondyloarthropathy,  Sjogren’s syndrome, Large and  Small vessel vasculitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, HIV Arthropathy, Polymyositis/ Dermatomyositis, Systemic sclerosis, Arthropathy/ arthritis associated with endocrine disorders and other systemic diseases.

The unit also works to raise awareness of Rheumatological disorders in catchment areas of UNTH.

Strategic plans

  1. To develop a world class rheumatology unit for learning and research in Rheumatology.
  2. Explore and develop areas of research in rheumatology.
  3. To deepen the learning of Rheumatology in UNN/ UNTH
  4. To increase awareness of rheumatological disorders in our communities


Programmes of the Unit

  •  Training of House Officers in general medicine
  • Training of residents in Rheumatology and general medicine
  • Management of patients with both general and rheumatological disorders in the medical wards and as outpatients at the Rheumatology clinics
  • Unit seminars that hold at the medicine department seminar room on alternate Fridays from 8 to 9a.m.
  • Rheumatology procedures every Friday from 11a.m to 2:00pm in the      procedure room at the Skin clinic
  • Rheumatology clinic every Thursday at the Rheumatology clinic in the same building housing the Dermatology clinic
  • Consultant teaching ward rounds on Tuesday immediately after weekly departmental clinical conference and/ or Fridays after SR ward rounds.
  • Imaging and serology results review on Tuesday after ward rounds or Friday after procedures
  • Senior registrar’s ward round on Friday from 8:00a.m to 10:45a.m and on Monday from 10:00a.m to 2:00pm
  • Registrar’s wards rounds every Wednesday


Procedures done by the unit

  1. Arthrocentesis for Synovial fluid for culture and analysis
  2. Saline lavage of joint
  3. Intra-articular injections
  4. Epidural depot injections
  5. Administrations of intravenous biologic agents
  6. Administration of intravenous disease modifying ant-irheumatic drugs
  7. Intralesional and soft tissue injections for treatment of soft tissue rheumatisms


Future prospects

  1. Fluoroscopy and ultrasound guided intra-lesional depot or injection therapies
  2. Ultrasonography of musculoskeletal system
  3. Crystallography
  4. Arthroscopy
  5. Capillaroscopy
  6. Acquisition of a building with clinic room space, waiting areas and procedure rooms
  7. Getting a serology laboratory within the hospital
  8. Getting a DEXA machine for Bone mineral densitometry  within the hospital
  9. Postgraduate training in Rheumatology
  10. Rheumatology Nurses


Support services and dept

  1. Radiology
  2. Physiotherapy
  3. Main Laboratories
  4. Side labs at dermatology clinic and MOP clinic