KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY; After a stalled coffee agreement, the government is now moving to okay human body organ transplant through a bill that is slated to be tabled tomorrow on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.
The bill okaying the human body organ transplant is being tabled in parliament is part of the full agreement operationalization of the controversial Lubowa International Specialised hospital financed by Ugandans but owned by President Yoweri Museveni’s confidant, Enrica Pinetti.
An order paper issued by the clerk to Parliament on Monday indicates that the minister of health Jane Ruth Aceng will use five minutes to table the bill, the first item of the third sitting of the first meeting of the second session of the 11th parliament.
The bill comes after a raft of conversations to fully operationalize the Pinetti-Government November 17, 2014 between her company-Finasi and the Ministries of Finance and Health, where it was agreed that the government as part of its support to the hospital would enact a law to allow for body organ transplant.
And indeed, in a ministerial statement issued Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, in July 2019, she noted that the lack of enabling law on Human Organ transplant had impeded the completion of Lubowa project.
Consequently, in June 2020, Uganda’s cabinet approved the human organ donation bill dubbed the Uganda Human Organ Donation and Tissue Transplant Bill that seeks to establish a legal framework for human organs, cells transplant in Uganda and also regulate donations and trade in human organs, cells and tissue for the safety and security of Ugandans.
Pinetti is under scrutiny for taking billions of tax payers’ money in a failed Lubowa hospital construction and coffee deal where she had been given full rights to deal with up class Uganda’s coffee.
Details of the bill
It will regulate the removal, storage and transportation of human organs, tissue,s and cells for therapeutic purposes as well as establish the Uganda Organ transplant Council.
The bill also seeks to provide for the designation of hospitals as transplant centers that will provide for the approval of human organ, tissue and cell banks.
In other articles, the bill seeks to provide for appropriate consent for purposes of human organ, tissue and cells donations and transportations while it also prohibits commercial dealings in human organs, tissues and cells.
The bill seeks to protect the dignity and identity of every person and guarantee, without discrimination, respect for his or her integrity and other rights and fundamental freedoms with regard to donations and transplant of organs, tissues and cells.
If passed into law, it will regulate the transplantation of organs, tissues and cells of human organs carried out for therapeutic purpose and will provide for a system to ensure equitable access to transplantation services to patients, traceability of organs, tissues and cells and recall procedures.
Although the bill generally looks to benefit the rest of the hospitals in Uganda-some of whom senior presidential advisor Tamale Mirundu has accused of illegal organ harvest, it is an initiation in Pinetti’s agreement.
Under the project Framework Agreement of November 2014, it was noted under article 1.1.1 was envisaged to have 135 beds to cater for trauma, orthopedics, neurosurgery, kidney transplant and cardiac surgery.
Article 1.8 entailed that Finansi would procure all the relevant funding for the design and construction of the hospital facilities. But to the contrary, government moved to guarantee and paid for nonexistent works to the tune of Shs.400billion.
Lubowa hospital was envisaged to assist reduce the morbidity and mortality attributable to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and also reduce resource hemorrhage attributable to medical tourism.
The hospital was planned under two phases with Phase 1 comprising a 264-bed specialized healthcare facility with a built area of 72,0OO square meters including a health workers complex, 80-room hotel, specialized training school, sports facility, and helipad among other state-of-the-art facilities.
Phase 2 would expand phase 1 into a medical city of up to 500 beds total capacity. The hospital had been planned to be completed on June 10, 2021.
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