Young Ashraf is a lively 7-year-old who needs to have surgery to remove a large umbilical hernia. His mother has sought medical care before but as his father died a while ago his mother couldn’t afford to even see a doctor so paying for surgery has always been out of the question.
An umbilical hernia is when intestine, fat or fluid pushes through a weak spot near the stomach muscles creating a noticeable bulge. Umbilical hernia’s are common in the countries where we work and can be fatal if left untreated as they can become incarcerated (trapped outside of the hernia wall) or strangulated (a section becomes pinched or twisted and cut off from the blood supply) causing nausea, vomiting and pain.
These complications require emergency surgery. However, because many of our patients like Ashraf don’t live near any medical facilities it is unlikely that if complications where to arise they would reach medical care in time.
The operation takes under an hour and recovery is swift with most children able to return home the same day. Hernia operations are typical of low-cost, high-impact surgery that we fund.