A team of seven hernia surgeons from Slovenia recently arrived in The Gambia to conduct a weeklong free hernia operation in the country.
The surgeons, who started work last Monday at the AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni, have so far operated over 70 hernia patients.
The team of surgeons is under the Hernia International UK, a premier hernia charity organisation which is aimed at addressing global healthcare problem by delivering humanitarian hernia surgery.
According to statistics, in sub-Saharan Africa alone there are an estimated 6.3 million untreated inguinal hernias.
Hernia is a condition in which part of an organ is displaced and protrudes through the wall of the cavity containing it (often involving the intestine at a weak point in the abdominal wall).
It is most common in the abdomen, but they can also appear in the upper thigh, belly button, and groin areas. Most hernias are not immediately life- threatening, but they don’t go away on their own and can require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Dr. Jurij Gorjanc, a hernia surgeon and the team leader of the visiting surgeons, explained that they decided to come to The Gambia to conduct the hernia operation, under the organisation of Hernia International, which is an English-based charity organisation founded by Professor Kingnos.
The idea, Dr. Jurij went on, is to help the people with hernia problems worldwide.
He said they are happy to be invited to The Gambia, describing the AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni as a well organised hospital with great hardworking staff.
Dr. Gorjanc maintained that having a team of seven doctors they can do more than seven operations in a day, positing that they don’t just come to countries and make operations and go, but they also teach and train other surgeons and doctors in the host country.
The chief executive officer of the AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni, Mamadi Cham said that the initiative started since 2010 with the former administration, adding that they continued with it and got two groups of surgeons in 2012 from UK and Germany respectively.
According to him, such initiative is very important for them as it will give them the opportunity for both parties to collaborate and learn from each other.
Cham revealed that the last group of hernia surgeons that came to the country has operated over 200 cases in two weeks.
Alagie Touray, one of the treated patients, expressed appreciation to the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Slovenian surgeons for their effort.
He informed that he has been suffering from the ailment for many years and has tried several times to cure it, but proved unsuccessful.
The Governor of the North Bank Region, Lamin Queen Jammeh expressed delight for having yet another team of surgeons in his region.
He underscored the importance of the visit as it will avail people the opportunity to share and learn from the visiting surgeons especially on issues regarding hernia.
by Arfang MS Camara