Meet Kyomugisha, a 29-year-old mother of four living in Uganda. Kyomugisha works as a farmer, and her husband works as a taxi driver.
Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares that Kyomugisha has had a supraumbilical hernia since 2011 – causing her to have recurrent abdominal swelling and pain. An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine or fatty tissue bulges through the muscle near the belly button, creating a hole in the abdominal wall. The incidence of an umbilical hernia is higher for women who have had multiple pregnancies.
“Kyomugisha first thought they were ulcers but the pain kept on increasing,” AMHF explains. “She went to the hospital for treatment and was told she had a hernia that needed repair by operation. Since Kyomugisha did not have the money, she decided to go back home.” If Kyomugisha does not have surgery, she risks having an intestinal obstruction and acute abdominal pain.
Her husband’s income alone cannot support their family. “Kyomugisha has to toil to sustain the family and pay the school fees for their children,” AMHF says. “Kyomugisha cannot therefore afford to pay for the surgery required to be well again.”
For $120, Kyomugisha can undergo a herniorrhaphy, in which the weak spot in the abdominal wall is repaired by sewing together edges of healthy muscle tissue. After the procedure, AMHF expects that she will no longer be in pain and will be able to work again. “When I get the surgery,” shares Kyomugisha, “I shall be able to work harder and continue to pay the fees for my children.”