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How CT scan ended Old Kampala Hospital kidney harvesting saga

Muhammad Kabanda, a vendor in Owino market has accused Old Kampala Hospital of harvesting his kidney without his consent.

Muhammad Kabanda, a vendor in Owino market had accused Old Kampala Hospital of harvesting his kidney without his consent.

KAMPALA — Results of a CT scan have revealed that a 25-year-old man, who accuses Old Kampala Hospital of harvesting his kidney, was born with only one organ.

The scan, which was conducted at Kampala Imaging Centre, was done on the orders of police who took over the investigation after Muhammad Kabanda claimed Old Kampala Hospital harvested his kidney without his consent.

But according to the abdominal scan results, Kabanda was born with only the right kidney, a condition medically known as renal agenesis.

Medics say that children with one kidney are perfectly healthy and live normal lives.

However, they require monitoring to keep their single kidney healthy.

While presenting the scan results to the family on Saturday, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the Director of Police Health Services, showed them that Kabanda was born with one kidney which was bigger in size than the normal kidney and that he had multiple renal arteries yet usually, there is only one artery per kidney.

“A renal artery is supposed to be one but this one they are seeing multiple renal arteries in order to support this abnormal kidney on the right and to compensate for what is missing on the left. This is what the scan is reporting,” explained Dr Byaruhanga.
He added that it was absurd that the surgeon picked a tissue from the very side where there is no kidney and that this is a coincidence. Dr Byaruhanga explains that when a surgeon needs a tissue to use during the operation, it is taken from the patient’s body because these are compatible and hard for the body to reject.

“When you need to make a repair on a patient under surgery, you have to get that tissue from the patient because the body may reject a foreign tissue from another person and you react,” Dr Byaruhanga said, adding that the tissue is taken from a section of the body which has some fat and that the cutting to get a tissue is made on the surface, not deep into the body.

Dr Byaruhanga further explained that the incision made on Kabanda’s abdomen is unlikely to be one for kidney harvesting because it was small, about 10 centimetres. He says that usually when taking out a big organ like a kidney, a surgeon would make a bigger cutting.

Kabanda however expressed further discontent and still doubts the results that indicated that he was born with one kidney.

Earlier this week, Kabanda opened a case with Old Kampala police station alleging that his left kidney was removed when he went for treatment of injuries he sustained during an accident. He says that he was asked to pay 3.35 million Shillings to cover the operation on his forehead which was severely injured during the accident.

He was taken for surgery on September 25, 2022, by a doctor he identified as Dr Alex Mugalu. To his dismay, Kabanda says that when he left the theater, he had two wounds, one on his forehead and another on his abdomen. However, the surgeon said that he had taken body tissue from the abdomen to cover the head injury.

But Kabanda suspected that his organs were harvested forcing him to conduct scans from Malcolm health care and Mengo hospital which revealed that he had one kidney. He subsequently reported the matter to police.

As police launched investigations into the matter, Dr Richard Ambayo, a police surgeon recommended an abdominal pelvis CT scan and a brain CT scan to be conducted either at Mulago Hospital or Kampala Imaging Centre. In his referral notes, Dr Ambayo sought to understand whether Kabanda had one or two kidneys and if a medical procedure had been conducted to harvest any of them. Kabanda went for the scans on Friday.

Meanwhile, Dr Ssentongo Katumba, the registrar of the Uganda Medical Council says that they launched investigations into the matter and have since received a defence and the patient’s file from the hospital and the accused doctor. Dr Katumba says they have invited Kabanda for an examination to help them conduct an independent investigation.

“We need to know what really happened. We hope that he will come on Monday and we examine him. It is important that we get answers and also inform the public because the matter is in the public domain and people need to know what happened,” Dr Katumba said.

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