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Experts Clarify on Law Amidst Fears of Trade in Human Organs :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Experts Clarify on Law Amidst Fears of Trade in Human Organs

Dr Frank Asiimwe who heads the Mulago transplant unit elaborates on the tough penalties in the law where a doctor involved in sale of a kidney is imprisoned for twelve years and their license revoked for five years if they are a first time offender.

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Scientists at Mulago National Referral Hospital are working to establish a fully-fledged organ transplant unit having successfully done Uganda’s first kidney transplant in December.  However, the advance in health tech has come with fears of illegal transplantation considering that the demand for kidneys for instance may out the supply with more than a thousand Ugandans currently on dialysis and awaiting surgery.

Dr Robert Kalyesubula a Kidney specialist says the Ugandan legal framework has in advance made it very difficult for such to happen. He says unlike elsewhere, Mulago only accepts donors who are willing and biologically related and who undergo more than fifty tests before being given a green light.

//Cue in:” People have to...

Cue out: ….. donor is protected”. // 

However, even before the first transplant, there have previously been allegations of kidney theft in both government and private hospitals. The latest alleged incidents happened at Mubende regional referral and Old Kampala hospitals but have since been cleared and Kalyesubula says there is no way a patient can check in for another surgery and end up on a transplant one.

//Cue in:” A transplant cannot ….  

Cue out: ……. To be useful”. // 

Dr Frank Asiimwe who heads the Mulago Transplant Unit elaborates on the tough penalties in the law where a doctor involved in the sale of a kidney is imprisoned for twelve years and their license revoked for five years if they are a first-time offender.

 

//Cue in:” If the doctor …   

Cue out: …. is also imprisoned”. // 

In addition, he says, to cushion against organ trade fears, Uganda has even tightened the noose more so that even for the dead known technically as the cadaveric program, they cannot harvest an organ unless the donor consented while still healthy. 

//Cue in:” Organs that can …  

Cue out: ….  Remove the kidneys”. //

Meanwhile, so far, there are concerns that the transplant unit is operating without a waiting list with no clarity on which patient will be operated next.

The Minister is expected to set up a transplant council which is supposed to be shuffled every year.  

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