News & Events

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.


Shorland Hosking Fellowship 2015

Tuesday 31st March 2015

The 2015 ASIT/Operation Hernia Shorland Hosking Fellowship has been awarded to Mr Vernon Sivarajah who is a Specialist Surgical Registrar in the North West Thames Deanery. The award of £1,000 will be used to cover travel and accommodation costs, allowing Vernon to join an Operation Hernia mission this year.


Vernon Sivarajah
Vernon Sivarajah

Tuesday 25th November 2014


Chris Oppong, Chairman of Operation Hernia, attended the Netherlands Society for International Surgery Symposium on “Surgery in Low Resource Settings” in Amsterdam from November 14th to 16th, 2014.

There were some important highlights that may be of interest to Operation Hernia partners.


1. International Collaboration for Essential Surgery:  15 x 15 Campaign

15 x 15 is a campaign by the International Collaboration for Essential Surgery (ICES) and Operation Hernia is a Supporting Body of ICES. Hernia Surgery is one of the 15 Essential Surgical Procedures.  The ICES website explains that the campaign focuses on promoting the 15 essential interventions that can take care of the basic surgical needs of any community.  15 x 15’s overarching goal is to ensure that Essential Surgery is recognized as a priority for primary care policies, practice, and research by 2015.  The 15 x 15 campaign aims to increase access to Essential Surgery through:

  • Piloting -- innovative models for task shifting and training non-MDs to perform surgery
  • Advocating -- for essential surgeries to be integrated into existing health systems
  • Informing -- the field through research, publications, and screenings of The Right to Heal

The Right to Heal is a film that sheds light on the neglected issues of surgical care globally, and the need for organizations and individuals to unite in bringing essential surgery to poorly-served areas of the world.  Please visit the ICES website (  to watch a trailer of The Right to Heal or to watch the full film.


2. The Role of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Global Surgery

This was the keynote lecture delivered by Dr Meena Cherian who leads the WHO Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care.  She is a Professor of Anaesthesia, having originally graduated from a University in India.

Dr Cherian announced that the WHO will at its meeting in May 2015 formally approve of Essential Surgery as part of its Global Health agenda.  This will be preceded by approval by the WHO Executive Board at their meeting in January 2015 and will bring hope to the 2 billion people who lack access to basic surgical care.  It will be the culmination of years of campaigning by various bodies and individuals to persuade the WHO to end years of neglect of basic surgery as an essential part of the WHO programme to improve global health.


3. Edna Adan University Hospital, Somaliland

Edna Adan thrilled the meeting with her eloquent presentation of her achievement in establishing a successful healthcare system in Somaliland from the ruins of a war.  Born in Hargeisa in1937, she was trained as nurse and midwife in the UK.  In 1961 she returned home becoming the first qualified midwife in Somaliland.  Her career for the WHO started in 1965.  In 1991 she became WHO Representative in the Republic of Djibouti where she served until retirement in 1997.  In 2002 she became the first and only woman Minister in the Government of Somaliland when she served as Minister of Social Affairs, and between 2003 and 2006, she was Somaliland’s Foreign Minister.  For her impressive work she has received numerous awards and she has been invited to several international conferences, like the Lancet Commission of Safe Surgery.  In order to reduce the high maternal mortality rate of the women in her country, her lifetime goal is to train 1,000 midwives to work in remote areas in Somaliland and encourages other countries in Africa to train one million midwives to work in African countries with similar harsh conditions for women like Somaliland.

Dr. Shukri is a remarkable young doctor. She became one of two first female doctors in Somaliland. First she graduated as a midwife at the Edna Adan Hospital.  Due to her talent and motivation she received sponsorship to go to medical school.  After graduation in 2011 she was one of the first female medical staff members of the Edna Adan hospital.  This ambitious lady is still improving her skills.  She became the first national trainer on infant resuscitation. Dr Shukri is currently focusing on surgery and recently performed her first obstetric fistula operations.


4. E-Learning with 3D visualisation for training 

Theo Wiggers a retired surgeon presented a novel e-learning module with 3D visualisation for training surgeons.  This will be piloted in Ghana during an Operation Hernia mission led by Dutch surgeon, Maarten Simons.


5. College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa

The College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) is an independent body that fosters postgraduate education in surgery and provides surgical training throughout the region of East, Central and Southern Africa.  COSECSA is a non-profit making body that currently operates in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Prof Jani, Secretary General of COCSECA, presented the innovative model for training of surgeons in the COSECA region to improve the critical shortage of trained surgeons. Operation Hernia is now exploring possible collaboration with COSECSA to be involved in training in hernia surgery.


Chris Oppong,

Chairman, Operation Hernia

November 24, 2014



Shorland Hosking Fellowship, 2015

Wednesday 12th November 2014

In its 10th anniversary year, Operation Hernia is pleased to announce that it will again be awarding the annual 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 of the award are available on the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT) website (  Applications need to be received by 31st January 2015 and the award will be announced and presented at the annual ASiT Conference in Glasgow in February 2015.