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Early missions

Why are we called Hernia International Carpenter?

It is really quite simple - we are a charitable organisation that organises missions to undertake predominantly Hernia surgery in the village of Carpenter, in the Savannah region(formerly Northern Region of Ghana, in West Africa.

We are an international team, mainly from the Uk but also with volunteers from Ireland, Spain, Germany, and Canada.  The first mission was organised by Operation Hernia, subsequent trips by Hernia International and since 2018, as Hernia International Carpenter.  The team members are all volunteers and everyone has played their part in contributing to the work we have done.  

We are very closely linked with a Canadian charity - Grid, and an organisation in Ghan called the Northern Emporwerment Association.  The Story of NEA and GRID is enlightening and demonstrates how the impact of strong leadership and a clear vision and understanding of the challenges has resulted in sustainable improvements for the region.  I would encourage you to look at how much has been achieved   www.grid-nea.org.

 

The hernia missions started in very surroundings.  Operating in rooms converted from basic accommodation.  As operating theatres, there was no light, no air conditioning, a ceiling fan and mesh on the windows.    All equipment was brought from the UK, mainly donations, and some essentials purchased using funds raised by the charities.

The environment was tough but he reliance of the team has always been outstanding.  In the beginning most operations were performed under Local Anaesthetic but gradually the confidence in our surroundings and preparations in creased in to enable increasing numbers of cases to perform more under spinal and general anaesthetic.  With each year the team made the patins pathway increasingly normal for the standards we deliver here in the UK.

Each year hundreds of new patin would queue up to see the surgical team - and be listed for operations either the same year ro for the following year.   Men women and children with 'eye watering' sized hernia that many had endured for decades. 

As the reputation of the mission spread, families would travel from neighbouring regions and across the border from Burkina Faso, and Togo to seek treatment.

The success of our missions has always been based on teamwork.  all of our trips have been planned town conjunction with the Ghana HEAlth team from Ontario, Canada, under the expert leadership of Dr Jennifer Wilson.  This team comprised of Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, Optometrists and more recently a Physiotherapist and Chiropractor.  The benefit of having a dedicated, multidisciplinary team, with great leaders cannot be understated and is without doubt the reason for the success of this project over the years.

Some of our Surgical team volunteers

Not all of our volunteers are shown here - but everyone has played there part.  Hernia International Carpenter would like to thank them all.

Leyaata Hospital from the start

Work started on the building of  Leyaata hospital in February 2019.  Leyaata means 'Rescue Us'.  This is a hugely exciting project to build a hospital on a 30 acre site next to The NEA compound in the village of Carpenter.  Once completed, within the following two or three years, this fully equipped 50-bed general hospital will become the area’s essential health care hub, offering specialised care, surgical care, outpatient clinics, eye clinics, OB/GYN and prenatal clinics, chronic disease management clinics, diagnostic imaging services and round-the-clock emergency services.  This has been a major focus for GRID under the leadership of Jacques Lapointe and the GRID board, with Dr David Mensah, Director of the NEA with the ambition to open in 2021. 

Hernia International Carpenter are extremely proud to be one of the partners of this programme to improve how healthcare is delivered in this region.

Leyaata Hospital today

The hospital was formerly opened in August 2022 and opened for patients in November 2022.