AWARDS: Dr Chris Oppong, Malcolm Carmichael, Plympton Rotary Club President, and Prof Andrew Kingsnorth

Thursday 12th April 2012

An award has been made to two non-Rotarians, the first time in the club’s history of Plympton Rotary Club, writes Nicola Tapp.

Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland use the Paul Harris Fellowship, named after Rotary’s founder, as a mark of outstanding contribution above and beyond the norm.

The two fellowships have been awarded to Professor Andrew Kingsnorth and Dr Chris Oppong for their work with Operation Hernia.

Launched in 2005 by the two Plymouth-based consultant surgeons, Operation Hernia aims to provide sustainable surgical treatment of hernias to patients, along with training to local medical personnel, in developing countries in Africa, particularly Ghana.

Mr Oppong said: “A hernia is a surgical condition which can be very debilitating for patients in the Third World who don’t have access to the medical care we have in the UK. The painful swelling makes it difficult, and in some cases impossible, for the local farmers and fishermen to work and provide income for their families. Surgical operation to treat a hernia is therefore life changing; improving the quality of life for patients and allowing them to become earners again.”

Since its inception, more than 6,000 hernia patients have benefited from this humanitarian project in Ghana.

Professor Kingsnorth, said: “This recognition is very important to both of us as it has come from within our own community.

“We have received many awards but this will take pride of place.”