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Lubaga Hospital flags off construction of state-of-the-art organ transplant centre

Lubaga Hospital

Schematics released by the hospital indicated that construction will take upto two years (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA— The Chancellor of Kampala Archdiocese – Rev. Fr. Dr. Pius Male has flagged off the construction of a state-of-the-art Specialist Centre at Uganda Martyrs Hospital Lubaga

The Centre, according to Executive Director Julius Luyimbaazi, will offer, modern transplant services, over 25 specialized and super-specialized medical services, affluent in-patient-wing and private outpatient services.

According to schematics released by the hospital, the building is expected to take upto two years.

Transplant Centers are hospitals that are staffed and equipped to perform complex organ transplant procedures.

Dr. Luyimbaazi said the organ transplant centre once put in place will focus on provision of Kidney transplant, liver transplant and cornea transplant to patients.

Dr. Luyimbazi says this will reduce the cost of doing the procedure from abroad, especially in India where many Ugandans are sent on referral.

“There will not be a cost of having an attendant travelling with you abroad needing hotel facilities. That cost is very big, so we can cut it off locally. The second is that the professional fees which are paid out there to the doctors that do these transplants are also exorbitant because it is tourism. So we can subsidize the cost by charging reasonable costs to patients that they can afford. And thirdly the cost of producing health care services here in Uganda is much lower than that abroad” Dr. Luyimbazi explained some of the benefits of having an organ transplant centre within the country.

According to statistics in the country ; the organs that are required most for transplant are Kidneys.

“It is the organ that fails the most and a patient can be saved through receiving a transplant. The liver also has referrals to India and other destinations” the executive director noted.

Some causes of liver problems include cirrhosis which comes from excessive alcohol consumption, infections, hepatitis and sometimes cancer.

Lubaga Hospital is the second-oldest Hospital in the country with over 123 years.

Presently, the Lubaga Hospital is a 240 bed-capacity referral unit offering a full range of specialized and super-specialized services, and with the Vision of being “a state-of-the-art health care facility in Africa”.

The Ugandan parliament passed a bill Thursday that will permit the donation and transplant of human organs.

The Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant Bill 2022, establishes a legal framework for organ, cell and tissue transplants in the East African nation.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said the demand for organ transplants was high but there was no law in place.

The bill also establishes the Uganda Organ and Transplant Council to oversee and regulate organ and cell donation and transplants.

Parliamentary Health Committee Chairperson Charles Ayume said Uganda has a backlog of candidates for transplants.

Penalties

There has been a public outcry in Uganda about the sale of organs and tissues from unwilling donors.

Some Ugandan women recruited for domestic work in the Middle East have often cried about being duped into taking medical procedures where their kidneys are harvested against their will.

The bill imposes a life sentence for anyone who removes an organ, tissue, or cell from a living donor without consent or authorization and prohibits the sale of organs for financial gains.

It also has life imprisonment with no option to pay the defendant’s way out for child organ traffickers.

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