TEN YEARS OF OPERATION HERNIA
Our mission statement reads: "Operation Hernia is committed to providing high quality surgery at minimal costs to patients that otherwise would not receive it."
Operation Hernia was initiated in 2005 by two surgeons, Andrew Kingsnorth and Chris Oppong, with the help of the Plymouth-Takoradi link. In 2006 plans were proposed to establish a Hernia Treatment Centre in Takoradi in southwest Ghana. The British High Commission in Ghana donated £10,000 towards the project at the former Takoradi European Hospital. Redundant wards were converted into a purpose-built Hernia Centre comprising air-conditioned operating theatres, alongwith reception and recovery wards. Design and construction support was provided by CNR, a Canadian oil and gas production company with offices in Takoradi. As further support, CNR also organised and provided funding for six nurses from Takoradi to receive training at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. CNR also organised shipment of a 40 foot container loaded with redundant equipment from the UK National Health Service. This vital equipment provided essential items for the initial fitting-out of the Hernia Centre. Since that time the centre has been visited and succesfully used by many volunteer teams of several nationalities. Several times each year teams of surgeons and anaesthetists now visit the Hernia Centre in Takoradi for one week missions and operate on about 50-100 patients during their time there.
Operation Hernia is now celebrating a very succesful decade and is looking to build on its success and deliver even more missions to various parts of the world where untreated hernias continue to be a major helth problem.
Seven additional sites have now been used in Ghana: Carpenter, Dixcove, Cape Coast, Nalerigu, Ho, Keta and Bole.
Hernias occur with a similar frequency in all populations and are affected by ethnicity and occupation, with a slightly increased frequency in Africans. The lifetime risk for hernia in men is 27% and for women 3%.