On average, it costs $334 for Benjamin's treatment
- Impact on patient's life
- Cultural or regional significance
What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?
A hernia repair is used to treat a number of hernias, including in the abdominal, diaphragmatic, and groin regions.
Patients generally present with masses, and occasionally pain. Some patients with intestinal hernias will have difficulty passing stool, experience nausea, and have trouble eating.
What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?
Hernias can cause pain. As they advance, patients can experience difficulty eating, which can lead to malnutrition.
Occasionally, this condition impacts the patient's ability to work and participate in other daily activities. This can jeopardize a patient's livelihood. This is especially relevant to our medical partner's patient population, as most people have manual jobs, such as farming or transporting goods.
What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?
Many Malawians, especially those living in rural areas, carry large amounts of weight on a daily basis. Many women transport goods in bins on their heads, and men carry or bicycle heavy loads. This repetitive strain and pressure on the body is linked to the development of hernias.
- Impact on patient's life
- Risks and side-effects
What does the treatment process look like?
A hernia repair is a simple surgical procedure that requires only a few days of post-operative monitoring before the patient can be discharged.
What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?
This surgery typically results in a full recovery.
What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?
Although there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, risks associated with hernia repairs tend to be very minimal.
How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?
In the area of our medical partner's treatment center, there is one central, public hospital. That hospital provides surgical services, but barriers exist. A patient requiring a hernia repair could be on a waitlist for years at the central hospital, or be sent home and told to return a number of times. For this reason, treatment can be very difficult to obtain at the public hospital. In addition to our medical partner's treatment center and the central hospital, there are private clinics that would provide this service, but at a high fee.
Our medical partner's treatment center, Nkhoma, is a great option for patients because they are able to receive quality treatment.
What are the alternatives to this treatment?
It is possible for patients to manually push the hernia back into place, but this is not a permanent solution. Ultimately, a surgical repair is the best way to mend the surrounding tissue and keep the organ in place.