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Mulago Kidney Transplant Recipient and Donor in Good Health


2 M7 meets Yashoda Hospitals and Mulago officials after the 1st successful kidney transplant operation in Uganda
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni having a chat with Yashoda Hospitals and Mulago referral Hospital officials during a courtesy call after the first ever successful kidney transplant operation in Uganda, the picture was taken at the State House Entebbe on the 22nd December 2023. Photo by PPU/Tony Rujuta.

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Medical professionals at Mulago Hospital announced on March 7th that the recipient and donor of the first kidney transplant are in good health, more than two months post-surgery.

Professor Frank Asiimwe, the transplant surgeon involved in the procedure alongside experts from Uganda and India, provided an optimistic update. He confirmed the transplant patient’s satisfactory progress, stating that regular reviews every two weeks have shown positive outcomes. Prof Asiimwe also noted the donor’s well-being, mentioning the individual’s readiness to seek employment.

Initiatives for a second kidney transplant are underway, although specific timelines were not disclosed during the announcement.

The initial recipient, a 24-year-old, underwent surgery on December 20, 2023, and was discharged in early January. The transplantation occurred under the auspices of the new Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant law, which prohibits the unlawful sale of organs and the purchase of organs.

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According to Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Health Minister, this legal framework aims to prevent organ trafficking and ensure ethical practices in organ donation and transplantation. The law allows compensation for living donors’ expenses related to organ removal and medical examinations, as well as payment for technical services in regulated settings.

Speaking from the Health Ministry headquarters in Kampala, Prof Asiimwe highlighted Uganda’s progress in surgical interventions. He emphasized the importance of showcasing available services to policymakers and politicians to address existing gaps in infrastructure, training, and funding.

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Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, emphasized the need to recruit more specialists and procure medical supplies to enhance healthcare services within the country. This strategy aims to reduce reliance on medical care abroad and increase the capacity for surgical interventions domestically.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that 13% of Ugandans have some form of kidney disease, with 2% requiring kidney transplants due to end-stage disease. Currently, over 1,000 patients with end-stage kidney disease are undergoing dialysis, underscoring the demand for renal healthcare services in Uganda.

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