It is reported that hernias kill more people than any other sickness in Sierra Leone today. The reason many people are affected by this disease, and in some cases killed by it, is the lack of transportation. Almost everything carried around by local villagers is on their head, back, or shoulders. They walk many miles to bring items to or from their village. When someone collapses of hernia, the person is either taken by a motorbike or carried in a hammock to the main road only to wait several days for an ambulance (due to subpar road conditions) to transport them to the nearest medical center. Through this process, some patients cannot survive the pain and subsequently die. Malnutrition, absence of drinking water, and harsh working conditions in African heat are all major contributors to hernias.
Impact a Life Foundation is among the few organizations in Sierra Leone that have recognized the hernia problem. Through the Revive Africa project, we have been identifying the affected individuals (currently in and around Mankneh village in the northern region) and we provide the medical attention desperately needed to combat this curable, unspoken epidemic. By the grace of God, despite our limited financial ability, we have collaborated with a hospital in Masanga to perform over 300 hernia surgeries since 2017.
What Causes Hernias?
Ultimately, all hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia; the pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. Sometimes the muscle weakness is present at birth; more often, it occurs later in life.
Anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can cause a hernia, including:
- Lifting heavy objects without stabilizing the abdominal muscles
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Persistent coughing or sneezing
What the future holds:
Impact a Life Foundation is committed to doing what we can to make a difference in God’s kingdom by serving the less fortunate. There are still over 400 patients on our hernia repair surgery waiting list. To support this effort, we are committed to sending 5 people to Masanga Hospital for their life-changing surgery every month. With your support, we are hopeful to bless everyone on our list with the surgery they can not otherwise afford. Would you consider donating to this cause?