Worried by the increasing number of people suffering hernia, lumps, fibroids and related diseases, a frontline health-care centre has made efforts to address and reduce the incidence in the country. Shonowo Hospital has provided an opportunity for free hernia and lump removal surgeries for 200 patients, as part of its commitment to making health care affordable and available to low –income Nigerians.
Medical Director Shonowo Hospital, Dr. Samson Shonowo, made the call at the second edition of the annual official opening of free surgery ceremony held in Agege Lagos. The event witnessed patients including children, women and families from all over the over the country.
According to him, “Nigeria is characterized by a very level of inequality. With a large informal sector and over half of its population living in low income areas access and ability to pay for proper healthcare is a challenge faced by the majority of Nigerians”.
He noted that Hernia is a common condition in our environment and constitutes a serious problem in the male population. Complications are frequently seen in the rural areas due to grueling physical activity like farm work, many of these is life -threatening and the cost of operation is not readily affordable to many.
Shonowo disclosed that in the first annual edition November last year, 100 free surgeries were done, there need to increase it this year, however most people thought we would not able to sustain it, because It was silently done with no publicity, although people taught we will not continue this year. We decided to increase it this year.
Hernia (rupture) is an opening or tearing the muscles covering the belly that allows loop of the gut to push through and form a ball or lump under the skin. It usually comes from lifting something heavy, or strain. Some babies are born with hernia .In men, hernia is common in the groin, swollen lymph nodes may also cause lumps in groin.
However, one can try to press it back, while lying down if it a small bulge, avoiding lifting heavy objects, treat a cough whether it is tuberculoses and make a truss to hold the hernia, use of belt like the weight lighters to prevent the region, if the hernia is strangulated is dangerous , to the hospital for operation immediately. He cautioned that people should avoid foods that would cause constipation, exercises that are strenuous like lifting heavy objects, regular medical checkup and adopt a healthy and improved lifestyle.
According to him , he discovered that his life’s purpose is to care for people in the society , “having worked in a government hospital in the past , now saw the need to contribute to this community our corporate social responsibility because my hospital is situated.”
“Today, we have 200 patients in our list for free surgery. These patients were screened and selected over the course of two months after registering at the hospital. We had over 800 applications and 200 patients with the most severe cases were selected and surgeries will be carried out at zero cost, while beneficiaries are contacted and surgery dates scheduled by the hospital.”
The surgery session officially opens on the 15th November and closes at the end of the year. Since the establishment of Shonowo Hospital in Lagos 2015,”Our mission is to co-ordinate, deliver safe and caring services that promote health and well being, while providing standard medical care to low income earners at the grassroots. Our vision is Healthy people vibrant communities care for all”.
Dr. Humphery Nwazuruokeh ,St. Anthony Medical centre told The Guardian the Federal, State, Local governments should provide and implement several free programme for vulnerable people in the society who could not afford major surgery to enable them contribute their quota to nation building. He added that the corporate bodies should also contribute through their corporate social responsibilities. Nwazuruokeh also believed that the competent traditional health practitioners and caregivers could be integrated in the health sector if they well trained and upgraded by the local government and other relevant institutions.
Among the existing and new beneficiaries were Mr. Peter Akpan, Oluwurotimi Oyelekan, Mr Godwin Tom , Mr Godwin Fayunwa .Mr Shamsudeen Liasu , a beneficiary who spoke on behalf of others, appreciated Doctor Shonowo , medical team family community and among others by providing free hernia surgeries for them.