GANTA, Nimba – The Esther & Jereline Koung Medical Center in Ganta, Nimba County is conducting free surgeries for more than 150 persons.
A team of four foreign doctors from the United Kingdom are currently at the hospital conducting the surgery that is now in the second week.
Dr. Peter M. George, the medical director of the E&J Medical Center, told reporters about the ongoing free medical service for hernia and hydrocele patients at the hospital.
A hernia occurs generally around the groin and abdominal region when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. The result is a bulge that can inconvenience the victim.
Hydrocele, on the other hand, is a painless accumulation of watery fluid around one or both testicles that cause the scrotum or groin area to swell.
“This is a five-year memorandum of understanding we have entered into for free services in diverse specialties with a team of doctors from the UK, Australia, and one from Germany,” George told reporters. “But right now, we are basically going to deal with people with hernia and hydrocele during the first phase.”
The hospital, which was founded by Rep. Jeremiah Koung of Nimba’s first district, opened to serve the public in June 2016. In February of this year, the hospital announced that it would be offering free medical services for pregnant women.
The hospital’s medical director says the free surgery for people with hernia and hydrocele is another way the hospital is servicing the people.
“This is just one of my programs I have on the scale as far as this hospital is concerned,” George said. He described the provision of these services as a notable “achievement” given that the hospital is only a year old.
He added that all mechanisms would be employed to ensure that patients coming to access the service are treated freely.
George said several medical doctors from Spain and Slovenia are also expected to visit the hospital in September and November.
The current team of four medical experts, from the organization Hernia International, is headed by Dr. John Bevis. He said his team was visiting at the invitation of the hospital.
“We are here for about two weeks and will be conducting surgeries for up to 120 patients with hernia and hydrocele problems,” he said. “This is a service we are running free for the patients who are coming to seek this treatment.”
While the hospital is privately owned by the lawmaker, it received US$285,000 from the government in its first year of operation, even though only US$250,000 was budgeted for the facility. Koung, who is running for reelection, uses the hospital as proof of his commitment to the welfare of his people while his investment benefits from an infusion of cash from the government.
Featured photo by Arrington Ballah