Farafenni, The Gambia. March 2018 (Wandifa)




12th – 16th MARCH 2018

Compiled By

Farafenni General Hospital Management


North Bank Region

The Gambia

20th March 2018


The Hernia International Organization a multi – European Humanitarian group started partnership with Farafenni General Hospital in 2007 marking the beginning of the organization’s first Hernia Camp in the Gambia.

Preparations for the March 2018 Mission began in December 2017 with the submission of a letter of intent to Dr Andrew Kingsnorth coordinator for Hernia International from the Spanish team leader Dr. Antonio Satorras a General Surgeon. The team includes; 1 General Surgeon; 2 paediatric Surgeons; 1 Anesthetist and 2 Theatre Nurses.


The objective of the 2018 mission were;

1.      To offer surgical services mainly hernia but not limited to hernia alone to patients needing surgical care including children.

2.      To reduce the backlog of patients on waiting list for surgery at Farafenni and other facilities in the Gambia.


Following clearance for the mission obtained from the Office of the Director of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare dated 2nd February 2018, the Hospital Management established a local support team including a Doctor; Anesthetist Technicians; Theatre Nurses; General Nurses and other support staff to work with the mission. From the success registered in the last Hernia Misssion, the local team were encouraged to work with the vistiong team hence the establishment 3 key task-forces.

1.      Clinical: assigned with the responsibility of screening and booking (including contact details) of all hernias and related cases seen at the clinic.

2.      Communication: responsible for sensitizing the general public including health facilities using the local radio and influential community members.

3.      Logistics: Identifying and mobilizing the required resources needed for the mission and these includes; medical supplies, drugs and personnel.

The units that were fully involved in the preparation process included Administration; Nursing Department; Operating theatre; Laundry; DRF Unit; Security; Generator Unit and Catering Unit.


To achieve success in this mission, Management ensured that;

1.      The visiting team’s movement was well coordinated with support from the office of the Director of Health Services by providing transportation from the Airport to Farafenni and back to the Coast after the completion of the mission.

2.      The visiting Doctors and Nurses were cleared through the Ministry of Health.

3.      Drugs and supplies needed for the camp were made available.

4.      Staff identified (local team) were available at all time (8AM – 9PM daily) during the course of the surgery.

5.      Food and water was available to avoid interruption of services by providing lunch for the local staff while a hospital cook prepared meals for the visiting team.


The 2018 Spanish Hernia Mission operated on 51 patients with varied surgical conditions. Of the total cases performed, hernia represents 72.5%; Lipoma 7.8%; hydrocele 15.6%; and Keloid 3.9%. Of the total patients operated on 46 (90.1%) were males and 5 (9.8%) were females. Gambians represents 84.3% of patients and non-Gambians accounted for 15.6%. Children under the age 5 represents 15.6% of all patients operated on.

MFGamNon-GamHerniaLipomaHydroceleKeloid< 5yrs> 5yrs

Table above shows summary statistics of the 2018 Spanish Hernia Mission  


The Mission was a success despite the feeling among the team that more could have been done. However, given that it was only 3 months ago when we had a camp that operated on 78 patients, registering 51 for this mission is a significant milestone. I must also acknowledged the transfer of skills between the visiting team and the local team.

The Hospital Management would like to register appreciation to the Spanish Mission and by extension to Hernia International ably coordinated by Dr. Adrew Kingsnorth. The local staff must be commended for their dedication and commitment. We also register gratitude to the Ministry of Health for the technical support and encouragement through out the process.

Wandifa Samateh(MSc,RM,RN)
Chief Executive Officer
Farafenni General Hospital
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Banjul, The Gambia

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