Parliament Allocates Funds for Establishment of Organ Transplant Council – The Ankole Times

Parliament Allocates Funds for Establishment of Organ Transplant Council

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Parliament has approved a budget of sh3 billion for the establishment of the Organ Transplant Council, aimed at overseeing the processes involved in human organ donation and transplantation in Uganda.

Appointed by the Minister of Health, the council’s primary responsibilities include accrediting facilities, approving donation and transplant applications, issuing guidelines, and ensuring quality control, supervision, and monitoring within the organ donation and transplant industry.

The decision to allocate funds for the council’s formation came following the enactment of the Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant Act in June of the previous year. The budgetary allocation was endorsed as part of the report presented by the budget committee of Parliament on the National Budget Framework Paper for the financial years 2024/25 to 2028/29.

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Chairing the committee, Kachumbala County MP, Patrick Isiagi Opolot, emphasized the necessity of establishing the council to regulate the organ donation and transplant sector effectively.

The allocated funds, amounting to sh3 billion, will be utilized for various purposes, including training, setting up offices, and providing emoluments. Opolot explained that while the initial figure may seem substantial, it is expected to decrease in subsequent years as the council begins to generate revenue from accreditation, inspection, and licensing fees.

Under the new law, severe penalties are imposed for illicit activities related to organ trafficking and unauthorized removal of organs. Individuals found guilty of such offenses, including health workers or traffickers, face fines of up to sh2 billion or imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both. Corporate bodies involved in organ trade could be fined up to sh10 billion.

Moreover, the law prohibits monetary or other forms of compensation for organs, tissues, or cells, except for reimbursement of donation-related expenses approved by the council. Child organ donation is strictly regulated and can only occur in exceptional circumstances with parental or guardian consent, as sanctioned by the council.

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Born and raised in the heart of Uganda, Olga developed a deep appreciation for the power of storytelling from a young age. Her curiosity about the world and its myriad complexities led her to pursue a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, graduating with honors from Makerere University. This was just the beginning of her journey into the world of news publishing.
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