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FG plan to regulate organ donation nationwide

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By Usman Oladimeji

TAN, Federal Ministry of Health set to create improved guidelines.

The federal government has revealed plans to introduce national guidelines to regulate organ Donation and transplantation services in response to increasing reports of unethical behaviour in the industry. The Transplant Association of Nigeria (TAN) has also called on the government to invest in local medical Infrastructure in order to combat organ transplant tourism. Nigeria continues to struggle with major obstacles in healthcare, including poor infrastructure and limited equipment, despite having an adequate supply of medical professionals. The country currently has just 15 kidney transplant centres, highlighting the pressing need for improved resources in the medical field.

During the Living Kidney Donor Day event over the weekend in Abuja, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare Prof. Ali Pate, emphasized the importance of the event in reflecting on past achievements and obstacles, while also looking towards future developments and solutions in the field of kidney donation. Prof. Pate was represented by Director of Trauma Department Dr. Karmil Soretire, at the event, hosted by Nisa Medical Group. The chronic kidney disease was reported to be increasingly prevalent, impacting approximately 843.6 million people worldwide by 2017, according to his statement.

Unethical and harmful practice targets the vulnerables.

Pate discussed the alarming discovery in Nigeria in 2019 of two leading contributors to Kidney disease. The causing factors were pinpointed as the prolonged ingestion of traditional herbal brews leading to toxicity and the application of skin bleaching creams containing harmful chemicals. Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of NISA Medical Group, Dr. Ibrahim Wada revealed that the hospital group, along with their partners Clarion Call Care, hosted the second annual Living Kidney Donors Day to recognize and celebrate the heroic actions of donors.

He mentioned that the purpose of the event was to enlighten, motivate, and strengthen individuals by sharing insights into the extraordinary journey of living donors. Addressing the anxieties arising from accusations of organ harvesting in certain hospitals, Wada stated that this unethical and harmful practice targets the vulnerable and erodes the moral principles of organ transplants. Wada mentioned that NISA is dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public as a key approach in the fight against organ harvesting crimes.

NISA is committed to prioritizing well-being of kidney donors.

Wada emphasized the importance of educating people about the dangers associated with unethical organ trafficking in order to safeguard both potential donors and recipients. Additionally, he mentioned that his group is focused on promoting a Culture of informed and voluntary donation through Community Engagement, educational initiatives, and advocacy for policy change. He said there is a need to establish a secure and nurturing atmosphere for donors, prioritizing their health and overall well-being throughout the donation process. Wada highlighted the focus on implementing safeguards for donor protection as the main aspect of the initiative.

Moreover, NISA Group is committed to prioritizing the well-being of kidney donors by providing them with extensive medical attention, Mental Health support, and strong medical guidelines, he added. According to Prof. Aliyu Abdu, the Vice President of TAN, among the 15 kidney transplant centres, only a handful are operational due to significant obstacles faced by these facilities. More so, the majority of kidney transplant centres that are currently active are under the ownership and management of the Private Sector.

Related Article: Nigeria silent organ trafficking crisis

Abdu revealed that TAN is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to create improved guidelines aimed at addressing the reported abuses and unethical behaviour in organ transplant procedures in Nigeria. He reassured the public that TAN is dedicated to restoring integrity to the field of organ transplants. Additionally, it was disclosed that a committee has been formed by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to develop guidelines for organ transplantation in Nigeria, with a focus on upholding ethical standards within the industry.


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