The Volta Regional Health Directorate is to organise surgical interventions for patients identified with swellings of various types in the Sarakope and Akpokope communities in the Adaklu-Anyibe District.
The exercise, which is being done in collaboration with the Regional and District Administrations, would also educate the communities about the causes of the swellings.
A statement signed by Dr George Amofah, Director of Public Health of the Ghana Health Service, said 59 people were identified with swellings of various types and sizes with 51 of them, representing 86.5 per cent, being hernia cases.
It said all the hernia cases were reducible with the exception of a huge bilateral inguino-scrotal hernia in a middle-aged man.
“Out of the 51 cases of hernia, 45 were in males and six in females with an average duration of 12 years. Almost all the cases are farmers and Kente weavers who lean against a horizontal bar at the level of the lower abdomen while weaving, thereby increasing the intra-abdominal pressure, which may contribute to development of hernia after some time,” it added.
The statement said the remaining eight non-hernia cases included two undescended testis, one each of multiple lipoma, uterine fibroid, goitre, vaginal prolapse, epididimitis and Burkitt's lymphoma of the jaw.
It said there was no case of hydrocele among the cases examined by the team and that all blood samples were negative for filarial worms and only five stool specimens had intestinal worms.
It said the initial diagnosis of hernia by the district team was, therefore, confirmed and denounced the association of any communicable agent contributing to the swellings.
“All the cases, with the exception of the suspected Burkitt's lymphoma and epididimitis, require surgical interventions,” it said.
The statement said surgical and other medical services were provided on a daily basis by health facilities throughout the country and appealed to patients to access the services.
It advised the public to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme to enable them to access medical/surgical services when needed.
The Daily Graphic in its January 15, 2007 edition, reported the outbreak of a “strange disease” in Sarakope and Akpokope communities of the Adaklu-Anyibe District of the Volta Region.
Following the publication, a team from the GHS Secretariat in Accra accompanied by colleagues from the Volta Regional and District Levels Directorates, visited the area on January 18, 2007 to identify the strange disease, determine the magnitude of the problem and exclude any infectious agents, among others.