Some twenty-two (22) doctors drawn from nine (9) District Hospitals in the Western Region are undergoing training to abreast themselves with the new modern techniques of treating hernia.
The 5-day training among other things is to equip the doctors with better hernia surgery skills so as to improve the rate of hernia repairs in the country and to prepare them ahead of an upcoming mass hernia operation dubbed, “Repair of Groin Hernias Using Mesh”.
The training is organized by the Western Regional Health Directorate in collaboration with the Ghana Hernia Society, Operation Hernia UK and the Western Division of the Ghana Medical Association.
Speaking during the opening ceremony for the training, Dr Chris Oppong, the Lead Coordinator of Operation Hernia UK, announced that the training of the doctors would centre on the use of mesh for surgeries as well as other effective and modern knowledge and skills in curing that disease burden.
He disclosed that the Operation Hernia team has so far performed about 15,000 cases of that health condition around the world, however, there were over one million backlogs of cases which calls for the need to make it a health care priority to save lives and avoid needless death among sufferers of the condition.
Dr Oppong recounted how some fishermen wrote to him of the passing away of five of their members due to strangulated hernia and said that should not happen.
He indicated that close to 400 patients would from June through to December this year benefit from free hernia surgeries.
He indicated that the hernia operations will commence at Effiakuma, Takoradi, Essikado, Kwesimintsim and the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority Hospitals for free to all people living with Hernia.
Chairman of the Operation Hernia Society in Ghana, Associate Professor Michael Ohene-Yeboah on his part bemoaned how human capacity had limited attention to that health condition over the years aside from funding challenges.
He recalled how the Society had to be called at night to manage complications from hernia, which brought the idea of the Society in training more young professionals to also take up the challenge.
Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah, Western Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, commended the team in building local capacities to take care of the disease and said, “this is a noble course by the sponsors; as a country, health care must be one key area corporate organisations must begin to support for productive human resources.”
He was hopeful that by such knowledge acquisition, hope will be restored to patients in that treatment and care could be sustained and further appreciated the sponsors of the project for channelling their investment in the health sector.
Operation Hernia was set up in 2005 as a charity in the United Kingdom and as a Non-Governmental Organization in Ghana with the sole aim of helping to bring relief to the sufferings of Hernia patients.
It annually comes to the Western Region where they deploy their teams from the European Countries to come and work in Dixcove, Takoradi, Kwesimintsim, Essikado and Cape Coast Hospitals on patients with hernia.
The project funding is ably supported by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited with a Memorandum of Understanding in 2019 between the company and the Society to establish a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme where it wanted to give back to the society.