Celebrate Women’s History Month with a Pediatric Liver Superhero

Meet Dr. Udeme Ekong, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Attending Physician, Pediatric Hepatology and Transplant Hepatology at Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute.

Dr. Ekong received her medical degree in Nigeria and has been practicing for 27 years. Her time as a pediatric resident on the liver transplant team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the United Kingdom is what sparked her passion for pediatric transplant hepatology.

An active National Medical Advisor for American Liver Foundation (ALF), Dr. Ekong said she is, “appreciative and deeply humbled by her work with ALF.” She has presented several patient webinars including, The ABC’s of PFIC and has led multiple peer-to-peer programs on ALF’s behalf. “ALF is a resource that people with liver disease can trust – I’m proud to be part of that.”

Fast Facts on Pediatric Liver Disease and Transplantation

  • A liver transplant is recommended when a person’s native liver no longer functions well enough to keep them alive.
  • In 1963, Dr. Thomas Starzl performed the first pediatric liver transplant on a 2-year-old with biliary atresia.
  • Biliary Atresia is the most common cause of pediatric liver transplants.
  • There are over 350 candidates under the age of 18 on the liver transplant wait list but there are many other children who do not meet the criteria.
  • An estimated 20-50% of American children have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), now called metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease or MASLD – the third leading cause of liver transplantation in adults.

A Real-life Superhero

Dr. Ekong is a recognized authority in pediatric hepatology and pediatric liver transplantation. When she is not saving the lives of America’s youth, you can find her playing the piano, traveling or running.

Thank you, Dr. Ekong, for being a real-life superhero to hundreds of children annually. Your dedication to the pediatric liver community is truly inspiring. Cheers to you and all the successful females in our medical professional network. #nationalwomenshistorymonth

Last updated on January 16th, 2024 at 05:18 pm

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