Kenya Keen On Establishing Transplant Services In The Country

The government has reiterated its commitment to creating an environment that enforces good governance and support effective and efficient regulation of organ donation and transplantation in the country. Medical Services PS Harry Kimtai, said the Ministry of Health supports optimizing the provision of transplant services through training and provision of equipment because it is a resource specialty with great demand in the country. He said the program as mandated by law, seeks to cater to both living and deceased organ donations, and assured that no financial transactions or rewards shall be involved in acquiring an organ due to the inherent risks involved. ‘Any individual found engaging in trafficking organs and coercion activities will face severe consequences,’ warned Kimtai. The PS made the remarks Tuesday in a speech read on his behalf by a senior officer from the Ministry of Health Dr. Zainab Zura, during the World Transplant Day celebrations held at Kenyatta National Hospital grounds. He said this year’s theme, Hope for Tomorrow: Transforming lives through organ donation, captures the essence of the government and partners efforts to bring hope, healing and a new lease of life to those in need. Kimtai at the same time said that the government was exploring innovative approaches to increase the number of donors, besides creating awareness on the importance of organ donation. The PS said the government is partnering with various stakeholders to establish a robust system for organ retrieval, preservation, banking and transplantation, while collaborating with hospitals, healthcare professionals and the public. ‘A national registry will be established to enroll potential donors and recipients, this will ensure transparency, accountability and equitable distribution of these invaluable scare resources,’ he added. ‘As we embark on his noble journey, we must ensure that medical practitioners adhere to the highest ethical standards in their practices,’ he stressed, adding that the sanctity of life and the well-being of both donors and recipients must always be at the forefront of the efforts. The event that was organized by Kenya Tissue Transplant Authority (KTTA) and Kenyatta National Hospital and promoted by the World Health Organization is celebrated annually as a reminder that there are people around the world who are alive because of organ transplants. The PS cited the establishment of the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority (KTTA) and the Human Leukocyte Antigens typing laboratory at Kenyatta National Hospital by the government as a significant milestone that will ensure quality and ethical practices are adhered to. Studies indicate that approximately 5 million Kenyans have some form of chronic kidney disease with a significant proportion expected to progress to kidney failure. In his remarks, the Ag.Chief Executive Officer KTTA, Dr. Maurice Wakwabubi noted that apart from kidney cases, an estimated 75,000 people need corneal transplants. Studies indicate that over 1,000 documented patients on the waiting lists across the various eye hospitals in the country are awaiting corneal transplantation. In 2021, about 400 corneal transplant surgeries were successfully conducted in Kenya. It also indicates that a total of 12,500 patients with End Stage Kidney Disease require kidney transplant. By October 2022, a total of 6,300 patients with Kidney disease were undergoing chronic hemodialysis treatments. According to medical practitioners, Kidney transplant is always preferred for patients who are eligible for such procedures as it improves patients’ quality of life, and productivity and can increase life expectancy by up to 20 years.

Source: Kenya News Agency