About five fishermen in the Western regional town of Axim died from groin hernia due to the lack of money for surgery in 2021, a Consulting Surgeon, Prof. Chris Oppong has revealed.

He explained that most cases of Inguinal Hernia reported to him were caused by heavy lifting or dragging of fishing nets and other equipment by fisherfolk in some coastal communities in the Region.

Prof. Oppong was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a training workshop for some 22 doctors from mining facilities in the Western Region. The 5-day training focuses on how doctors can use the Hernia Mesh Surgery method to operate hernia patients.

“It’s a very heartbreaking story. We received a letter from a Chairman from the Fishermen Association in Axim and the brief message was that ‘because of Covid, we haven’t been to Dixcove and other hospitals for two years.’

“There has been backlog of over 100 fishermen in the Axim area with large hernia; very sadly, five of them have died from complications of hernia,” he disclosed.

5 fishermen die of groin hernia due to inability to raise money for surgery

According to him, the increasing rate of hernia in the country calls for an urgent attention, adding that symptomatic inguinal hernia should be treated to prevent complications and other accompanied health risks.

With support from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and sponsorship from AGM petroleum, a free hernia surgery will be conducted for about 400 patients from June to December this year in the Western Region.

The operations will take place at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Takoradi Hospital, Essikado, Kwesimintsim and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority Hospitals.

5 fishermen die of groin hernia due to inability to raise money for surgery

On his part, the Chairman of Operation Hernia Society in Ghana, Associate Professor Michael Ohene-Yeboah bemoaned the limited attention given to that health condition over the years.

Meanwhile, the Western Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services, Dr. Yaw Ofori Yeboah, commended the team for building local capacities to take care of the disease.

“This is a noble cause by the sponsors. As a country, health care must be one key area corporate organisations must begin to support for productive human resources,” he said.

He was optimistic patients suffering from the disease would be treated as he commended the sponsors for channeling their investments into the health sector.

Administration Manager of AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited, Christiane Beatrice Koenig, said the outfit is poised to increasing the fortunes of families affected by hernia.

5 fishermen die of groin hernia due to inability to raise money for surgery

According to her, AGM has since 2019 donated equipment and supported Operation Hernia to undertake surgeries.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in 2019 between the Company and the Society to establish a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme that will give back to the society.