Parliament Enacts Human Organ Transplant Bill 2022.
10bn fine slapped on Illegal Organ Harvesting
By Adiga Julius
Parliament has passed into law the Uganda Human Organ and Donation and Transplant Bill 2021 and approved the proposal to have corporate companies or hospitals involved in illegal organ harvesting and transplant required to pay a fine of Shs10Bn.
The Uganda Human Organ and Donation and Transplantation Bill 2022 which was tabled before parliament in July has been passed by parliament today. The Bill sought to criminalize illegal organ transplant. The committee of health recommended penalty not exceeding five hundred thousand currency points which is equivalent to Shs10bn which has been approved by parliament today .
Lawmakers prohibited donation of an organ, tissue or cell from a living child, with the Committee arguing that it’s not medically accepted. However the parliament Okayed donation of tissues for adult children between 18-21 years who are still under the care of their parents.
According to Obongi County MP, a member of the Health Committee of Parliament Dr. George Bhoka Didi, the Bill which has now been passed help will to regulate and guide organ donation transplant to prevent trafficking of the body organs in the country.
“This is very important Bill which should have been passed 20-30 years ago,,’ Dr. noted.
Dr.Boka said, the enactment of the Bill is going help to bring organs donation and transplant services nearer to Ugandans especially those who can’t afford to travel to countries like India, Turkey among others to seek for organ transplant services.
“Many Ugandans that suffer from organ failures and die because they are not accessing the services, for those who are rich they have to go abroad, and the costs are very expensive, for example kidney donation alone costs close to 85,000 dollars ,so bringing the services in Uganda will reduce the costs ,,’Dr. George added.
The Minister of Health Ruth Aceng noted that the demand for organ transplants has been so high, yet there was no law in place. She added that it will help many Ugandans who could not afford to go outside of the country for transplant.
The bill also aims at protecting the dignity and identity of every person and guarantees respect for their integrity. In this regard sale of organs has been prohibited by the law.
The Bill also prohibites harvest of organs from unclaimed patients who have no close relatives to give consent. However there was a contention in parliament on the issue of who declares a person “Brain Dead” for their organs to be extracted.
While passing the 98 clauses MPs called on the minister of health to draft stringent regulations to protect Ugandans from illegal harvesting of their organs.
Although MPs wanted Organ transplant to be done by Mulago Hospital alone under direct supervision of government, it was agreed that the mandate will be given to licensed hospitals under supervision of the Organ and Transplant Council to be established.