News & Events

ASiT/Operation Hernia Shorland Hosking Fellowship 2017

Monday 5th December 2016

In conjunction with the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT) the trustees of Operation Hernia will be seeking applications for the 2017 Shorland Hosking Fellowship.  This Fellowship provides £1,000 for a higher surgical trainee to join an Operation Hernia mission, working with the team in a developing country, usually for a one week period.  Further details are available on the ASiT website (   Applications must be received by 31st January 2017 and the successful applicant will be announced at the ASiT Annual Conference in Bournemouth on 2nd April 2017. 

Also at the Conference this year's Fellow, Mr Michael Kelly from Dublin, will give a presentation about his recent visit to Ghana.

10th Anniversary Celebrations - Ghana October 2016

Friday 28th October 2016



On 15th October 2016, Operation Hernia celebrated its 10th Anniversary at the city of its birth, Takoradi in Ghana. It was also a celebration of Ghanaian culture of pomp and pageantry. It was truly, a memorable night. The great and the good in the history of Operation Hernia were present as well as a television crew from the Takoradi Sky TV.

Traditional Dancing

The evening started with traditional drumming and dancing. Drums were played in a coordinated fashion to produce a unique rhythm of authentic Ghanaian music.  Energetic traditional dancers performed their complex choreography with grace and passion.  They were where clad in very colourful Ghanaian fabric called "kente". They treated the gathering to an array of mesmerising traditional dances with different themes.

Operation Hernia Exhibition

A photographic exhibition of the Operation Hernia story was opened earlier.  It featured the first Operation Hernia team that visited in 2005. On display were photographs of the inauguration by the then British High Commissioner and his deputy, and also the opening of the Hernia Centre at Takoradi Hospital. Photographs of various teams that have visited Takoradi and other centres from 2005 to 2015 were displayed. The series of photographs that stood out depicted the steps in the repair of a large hernia.  The use of Operation Hernia Mesh (low cost and affordable) was also highlighted in the exhibition. The picture posters were designed by Mr Bediako, Marketing Manager at Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

Poster showing details of the first Operation Hernia visit on 2005
Poster showing details of the first Operation Hernia visit on 2005

Main Event

All the attending personalities were acknowledged by Dr Bernard Boateng Duah, local Medical Director of Operation Hernia. We were privileged to have the original group of local doctors and administrators who were instrumental in the nurturing of Operation Hernia. This included the following personalities:-

1. Mr Edwin Philips, a local businessman

2. Mr Philip Nkrumah, the then city manager

3. Dr Kofi Asare, Medical Director of Takoradi Hospital

4. Dr Linda Vanotoo, the then Regional Medical Director

5. Mr Eddie Prah, local businessman and Business Manager of Operation Hernia

The following two personalities were not at the celebration but have been part of the “early brigade” who made substantial contributions to the success of Operation Hernia and deserve our deepest gratitude.

6. Mr Brian Dixon, Ghana Representative for Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) an international oil and gas producer

7. Miss Kate Mensah, our domestic manager. She did not attend but was acknowledged.


The keynote speech was delivered by Chris Oppong, Chairman of Operation Hernia. He emphasised the fact that the success of Operation Hernia is due to the passion and commitment of our selfless volunteers who sacrifice so much for the needy operation hernia patients, and the local doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, drivers, administrators and the culinary and domestic management skills of Kate and Lilian Mensah and their group of caterers. The pioneering role played by the former CEO Prof Andrew Kingsnorth was recognised both in the keynote speech and in the photographic exhibition.  Operation Hernia has treated over 9000 patients and trained several local doctors as well as UK and EU surgical trainees.  Emphasis has now shifted to training as exemplified by the recently completed training of ten surgical trainees of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) in Uganda.  Dr Bernard Boateng was given a deserved standing ovation for the tremendous role he has played in sustaining the work of Operation Hernia.

Poster outlining the work of Operation Hernia over the last 10 years
Poster outlining the work of Operation Hernia over the last 10 years

Operation Hernia 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Wednesday 29th June 2016

Operation Hernia 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Over 100 supporters of Operation Hernia gathered at a splendid Gala Evening held at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Plymouth on Friday 8th April 2016.  Our Patron, Lord Ribeirio, attended the dinner along with Dr Linda Vanotoo who is a Medical Director in the Ministry of Health in Accra, Ghana.   It was so good that both our patron and Linda could join us, especially as Linda had travelled from Ghana.  Both Lord Ribeirio and Dr Vanotoo gave inspiring talks, underling the importance of the work of Operation Hernia in low income countries

Mr Chris Oppong, Chair of the Trustees of Operation Hernia, summarised the development of the organisation and its significant achievements over the last 10 years.  We received greetings from Dr Ravindranath Tongaonkar, one of the pioneers of using low cost mesh for hernia repair, and from Prof Roger Simmermacher in Holland.   Various video presentations from overseas were shown including one from Prof Guido Schuermann, a surgeon from Germany, who is an Operation Hernia ambassador.  He has generously funded a fellowship for a Ghanaian surgeon to have specific training in hernia repair using low cost mesh as part of one of the several missions in Ghana each year. 

Many volunteers who had been part of Operation Hernia missions over the last 10 years also   attended the celebrations.   Jacob Akoh (Consultant Surgeon), Emma Upchurch (Surgical Registrar) and Della Ball (Operating Theatre Sister) gave their personal reflections and accounts of their experience as volunteers and their stories will no doubt inspire others to also volunteer in the future.

The formal proceedings were followed by a raffle and auction, many items having been generously donated by various sponsors.  Thanks to the generosity of these sponsors and also those attending the Gala Evening over £1,600 was raised and this will be used to support the further work of Operation Hernia.  We look forward to the challenges of the next 10 years and hope that many more will volunteer to help with the important work that Operation Hernia performs. 



Operation Hernia and COSECSA

Tuesday 4th August 2015

The College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) has recognised Operation Hernia as Surgical Trainers in Hernia Surgery. Operation Hernia will therefore be training local doctors who have been enrolled in COSECSA. 

This partnership with COSECSA fulfils a key objective of Operation Hernia - to transfer skills in hernia mesh repair to local surgeons.  Operation Hernia's Consultant partners will be invited to join the Faculty of Trainers for this prestigious programme.

The website of COSECSA  ( the training ethos of the college and Operation Hernia is very proud to be partners in the delivery of this quality training. Further details can be found in the July 2015 Newsletter, published on the Operation Hernia website.

Operation Hernia Ghana Fellowship 2015

Monday 3rd August 2015

Dr Bukari has been selected for the 2015 Operation Hernia Ghana Fellowship Award.  This provides an opportunity for him to join an Operation Hernia mission for a week and to gain unique hands-on experience in Mesh Repair.

The first recipient of the award was Miss Zainab Alhassan in 2013. The Fellowship has now been renamed as the Guido Schuermann Fellowship. It was started in 2013, with a very generous donation from Professore Guido Schuermann of Germany.