Filarial Hydrocelectomy: Building Capacity among Medical Officers on the New Approach

Opare JKL, Mensah KA, Marfo B, Harvie T, Asiedu O and Alomatu B

Published on: 2022-03-18


Hydrocelectomy dates from remote antiquity. The procedures employed have been devised and modified over the years resulting in a multiplicity of techniques with many variations and modifications of the original method. We report on the process and immediate outcomes in the capacity building of medical officers in a modified filarial hydrocelectomy technique in six lymphatic filariasis (LF) endemic regions in Ghana. Patients were recruited from six regions through the regional, district and sub-district health management teams and workshops were done to train surgeons from the district hospitals. A total of 115 filarial hydroceles cases were operated on using the technique of total tunica resection without drainage with excellent post-operative results. Majority, 65% (75/115) of the patients were 40-60 years old and 55% (63/115) were peasant farmers, 60% (69/115) were married and 30% (34/115) were divorcees. The medical officers were from the district hospitals and most of them, 80% (34/43), were in the age group 30-45 years old. Sixty percent (26/43) had practices medicine between 2-3 years. Medical doctors in six Lymphatic filariasis endemic regions in Ghana had a hands-on practice on hydrocelectomy which involved a modified total tunica vaginalis resection without drainage. Patients and Surgeons were found satisfied. It is however recommended that free- hydrocelectomy- surgery is extended to the rest of the endemic and non-endemic regions with the inclusion of hernia repair. Surgical services in under resourced districts can be improved with continuous and committed collaboration of the workforces.