Inguinal hernia occurs when fatty tissue or the intestines push through the inguinal canal found at the base of the abdomen . This condition causes bulges around the groin area that can be painful during movement and coughing. In men, inguinal hernia may cause swelling of the scrotum. Some of the risk factors associated with the condition include heredity, being male, obesity, chronic cough, pregnancy and frequent constipation .
A recent study at the Barekese sub-District of the Ashanti region has found that at least 10.8% of adult men suffer from inguinal hernia.
The study, published in the World Journal of Surgery, examined 803 participants of which 105 completed a survey on demographics, knowledge of the disease, and barriers to surgical treatment.
The research found that “prevalence of inguinal hernia increased with age; 35.4 % (…) of men aged 65 and older had inguinal hernia”. Participants who had received no medical treatment for the condition were associated with lower socioeconomic status. “Of those with inguinal hernia, 52.4 % did not know the cause of hernia”, the study stated.
The authors noted that the rate of surgical repair for inguinal hernia is very low in Ghana. The paper proposed that awareness of the condition and access to safe surgical repair could be improved through public health campaigns and training programs for non-surgeons.
Authors of the study were Michael Ohene-Yeboah of the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences (Korle-Bu teaching Hospital) University of Ghana; Jessica H. Beard of Division of Trauma, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Surgical Critical Care & ESS; Benjamin Frimpong-Twumasi of the Department of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana; Adofo Koranteng of the Department of Community Health, KNUST, Ghana; and Samuel Mensah of the Department of Surgery, Kumasi Regional Hospital, Ghana.
1. Moore K. Inguinal Hernia [Internet]. Healthline. [cited 2016 Sep 2]. Available from: http://www.healthline.com/health/inguinal-hernia
Digital reporter: Aaron Amankwaa, Editor