WHO WE ARE2019-06-04T16:27:48+00:00

Thousands of children in Nigeria are dying needlessly from treatable heart disease. SPEM QUIA FILII foundation was born to address these issues.


The Tragedy

Every year about 56.000 children are born with heart defects in Nigeria. A lot of these children require corrective heart surgery but sadly only very few receive any form of treatment. The few that receive treatment often get sub-standard care due to lack of resources and expertise.

Most missions to Nigeria in the area of diagnosis and treatment in the past have been adult centred , ad hoc, resource intensive and benefitted only limited numbers of patients. The vision and execution of the missions were poor, SO NO SUSTAINABLE CAPACITY WAS BUILT.

This leaves thousands of children with these heart problems with NO access to desperately needed care that will allow them live long healthy lives.

About 25% of admissions of children with heart failure are due to these heart conditions they are born with. As a result of NO children’s Cardiac centre in Nigeria, thousands of children die waiting for treatment.

Congenital heart disease in newborn is rarely diagnosed due to non existent neonatal screening as well as poor diagnostic/therapeutic service.

The greatest tragedy is that 85% of these defects are correctable with relatively straight forward heart surgery which sorts these children out for life.

Without this basic surgery, children have recurrent admissions from illness, life threatening heart complications, lead miserable lives and most die prematurely.

Also, in the developing world 2% of children contract Rheumatic heart disease, a disease eradicated in europe and america. It normally starts with a throat infection and is easily treated with penicillin.

If untreated, it leads to rheumatic fever, then Rheumatic heart disease which slowly destroys the heart valve. Rheumatic heart disease can be avoided with thousands of lives saved.

The only cure presently is either surgery or catheter intervention, which is not readily available in Nigeria and unaffordable.

The UK with a population of roughly 60 million has 12 specialist children’s heart centres while Nigeria has NONE with a population of at least 180 million with an average prevalence of 1% of the general population being born with heart disease which means we have about 1.2 millions children with this DEATH SENTENCE.

Our vision is a Nigeria where every child born with heart a disease is given an opportunity to life by providing the needed care for treatable heart disease

My path to working to help babies and children born with treatable heart disease became personal for me when my brother, Uyi Uwubanmwen, passed away at the young age of 35, in 2016. My brother was a brilliant young man who had his heart set on making great strides in Nigeria. He always said to me “My heart is in Nigeria. There is no place like home”.  He was sure that he could make a difference with the work he was preparing to set out to do.  After completing his Masters in Petrochemical Engineering at Aberdeen University, my brother relocated back to Nigeria. Shortly after relocating back to Nigeria, my brother who was always an extremely fit and vibrant young man, full of life, full of hope, and full of the energy and desire to make a change in the Country that he loved so much, went to sleep and had a cardiac event in his sleep.  My dear brother, Uyi Uwubanmwen, was just 35 years old when he passed away. He was just getting started at life. Stricken with grief, my father passed away 6 months later.

As a doctor, I thought about what I could have done to prevent my brother’s passing, and what I could do to prevent this happening to another family in the future. While still grieving, I did quite a bit of research and discovered that Nigeria does not have any structured accredited certified training nor does it have guidelines for Pediatric Cardiology care.

In Nigeria, congenital heart diseases in newborns are often missed.  They are rarely diagnosed due to the nonexistent neonatal screening and poor diagnostic/therapeutic services offered in hospitals. The greatest tragedy is that 85% of these defects are treatable, giving that pediatric patient a chance to have a fulfilling life.

Without this relatively basic surgery, these babies and children often times have recurring admissions from an undiagnosed life-threatening heart problem. Most often, they live a life of frequent illness and, unfortunately, they die prematurely.

With this foundation, I implore all of you to join us in this journey of giving a new lease on life to every child born with a heart disease.


Our mission is to build local sustainable cardiac and cardiothoracic service in Nigeria.

SPEM QUIA FILII foundation amongst other things aims to achieve the following:

  • Bringing world -leading doctors, nurses and medical experts to mentor our local team during surgical and interventional mission

  • Training local medical teams through both onsite and overseas training

  • Helping to build the infrastructure necessary to sustain and support Cardiac and cardiothoracic services

  • Helping to provide medical equipment and vital supplies

  • Develop and improve local cardiac services and capacity building so children with heart diseases can be treated locally.

  • Help facilitate mentorship, observership and fellowship programmes.

  • We hope to create greater awareness for Rheumatic heart disease as well as education on appropriate diagnosis and treatment
  • In collaboration, for complex cases that cannot be treated in Nigeria to be managed in partner referral centres in the UK, Europe and India

  • To help establish ultimately world class paediatric Cardiac centres/institutes in each of the geo-political zones in Nigeria.

Therefore, our mission, apart from saving the lives of children requiring surgery but also focuses as well on the training of the local medical team. So that eventually they would not rely on overseas missions.


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At Spem Quia Filii Foundation, all the committee members and medical volunteers pay towards the activities of the foundation with their time and often their own money.

We believe strongly in the value of openness and transparency, so you can be rest assured that your money and other donations are used in the best possible way.

OUR GUARANTEE- Every penny raised goes towards “saving Lives”.

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