Lubaga Hospital in Kampala has appealed to the government to expedite the accreditation process for its organ transplant center. Dr. Julius Luyimbazi, the hospital’s executive director, emphasized the importance of offering organ transplant services locally to alleviate the burden on patients currently relying on expensive dialysis treatments.
The hospital, celebrating its 125th anniversary, expressed readiness to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Mulago National Referral Hospital in providing organ transplant services. Dr. Luyimbazi highlighted the hospital’s preparedness, including personnel, equipment, and facilities, awaiting only accreditation from the Ministry of Health to commence operations.
In August 2023, a state-of-the-art transplant theatre was commissioned at Lubaga Hospital by Dr. Henry Mwebesa, Director General of Health Services, signaling the impending start of organ and tissue transplants at Lubaga and Mulago hospitals. However, accreditation hinges on assessment by the Uganda Organ Donation and Organ Transplant Council, mandated by the Ministry of Health.
Requirements for organ transplant centers include specialized theatres, intensive care units, recovery rooms, laboratories, and skilled specialists. Dr. Mwebesa assured that transplants at Mulago would be free, with private hospitals offering them at a reduced cost compared to overseas procedures.
Dr. Michael Okello, Director of the Organ Transplant Theatre at Lubaga Hospital, outlined plans to offer kidney, liver, and cornea transplants, with corneas initially imported due to legal restrictions on harvesting from deceased donors. State Minister of Health, Ms. Anifa Kawooya, pledged support for Lubaga Hospital’s accreditation process, ensuring collaboration with the council.
Archbishop of Kampala, Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, urged healthcare workers to emulate Jesus Christ’s compassion in serving patients. He lauded Lubaga Hospital’s founders for their commitment to providing healthcare inspired by spiritual values.