Mosquito net
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Mosquito nets used in hernia repair

11 October 2013 Last updated at 15:12 BST

Hernia repair is the most common operation in the world, but the mesh used in the operations is too expensive for many people.

Now the humble mosquito net is being used to repair hernias instead.

Mosquito meshes work out around 4,000 times cheaper than traditional mesh, and scientists are running stringent tests to ensure they are as safe and effective as the real thing.

The hope is to save some of the estimated 50,000 lives lost in Africa each year to untreated hernias.

Catherine Byaruhanga reports.