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Free surgery for hernia patients in Western Region

More than 200 hernia patients in especially coastal communities in the Western Region are to benefit from free surgical treatment this week.

The procedure will be carried out by a team of Ghanaian doctors, including a team from the United Kingdom (UK), the Ghana Hernia Society, and members of the Operation Hernia initiative.


The Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), which is organising the operation, has designated five hospitals in the Sekondi-Takoradi Municipality for the minor operation.

The country is said to have a backlog of more than one million hernia cases unattended to, with a surgical rate of 30 cases per every 100,000 cases, considered by health professionals as inadequate.

The operations to repair the groin hernias will rely on using mesh, a modern technology which does not require open surgery.

AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited is providing the financial support.

Operation Hernia is an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides professional and educational opportunities to surgeons and surgical trainees in the repair of long-standing groin hernias at rural hospitals in the country.


The Western Regional Director of Health, Dr Yaw Ofori-Yeboah, said at yesterday’s launch of the five-day Operation Hernia at the Effiah-Nkwanta Hospital in Sekondi, that the surgical operation would be preceded by the training of doctors from various health facilities on the use of the mesh technology in hernia surgery that did not confine the patient to a hospital bed after the process.

He said some health issues such as hernia required urgent attention from the corporate world.

Dr Ofori-Yeboah said even though periodically the service engaged in the management of special cases, “there is no doubt that the majority of the people who really need it do not receive the needed treatment”.

He stressed that there were consequences for the non-treatment of hernia, hence the need to ensure that people availed themselves.

“We do not have enough people with the requisite skills to perform these surgeries; that is why we are excited that aside from the fact that the team is here to attend to the cases, doctors would be trained to enhance their capacity at various facilities across the region,” he said.

Dr Ofori-Yeboah said the GHS was excited about the sustainability of the project through the training to build the capacity of the younger doctors across the region.

A member of the team, Dr Bernard Boateng Duah, said the new mesh approach was one of the well-researched methods that had worked well in hernia surgery, saying it gave a more lasting effect compared to previous approaches.

He said the new hands being trained would help to improve the skilled manpower for the region.

The Manager of Administration at AGM Petroleum Ghana, Ms Christiane Beatrice Koenig, said the company was delighted to deliver critical care where it was really needed.

She said the company would continue its financial support for the Operation Hernia initiative “to help improve the health of Ghanaians”.

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