Rubaga Hospital pushes government on organ transplant accreditation

Archbishop Sssemogerere at Thursday’s event. PHOTO URN

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Rubaga Hospital is ready to commence organ transplants once the government grants it the required accreditation. The hospital last year sought accreditation from the Ministry of Health but it is yet to be granted.

The Hospital’s Executive Director, Dr. Julius Luyimbaazi on Thursday broke the silence by reminding the State Minister for Health, Hanifa Kawooya Bangirana about the long wait for accreditation. He said while the facilities and surgeons have been prepared to begin the organ transplants, they cannot proceed until the government has granted accreditation.

Dr. Luyimbaazi added that Rubaga Hospital is the second health facility in Uganda and the fifth in Eastern Africa to receive accreditation from the Council of Health Care Services Accreditation of South Africa (COHSASA), an internationally recognized health facilities accreditation institute.

He explained that this accreditation affirms that the facility’s services and operations meet internationally set standards   Luyimbaazi made the reminder in a speech at the inauguration of the 125th-anniversary celebrations roadmap at Rubaga Hospital Training School today. Lubaga Hospital, established on October 18, 1899, was the second health facility in Uganda, following Mengo Hospital (February 27, 1897).

State Minister for Health in Charge of General Duties. Hanifa Kawoya Bangirana asked the hospital to be patient until when the Organ Transplant Council is fully constituted.

The hospital plans to work with Indian and Turkish surgeons to perform the transplant in Uganda. It was expected that the availability of these services in Uganda would reduce the cost of related kidney and other organ transplants.

On 14th August 2023, the RT Rev, Paul Ssemogerere, the Arch Bishop of Kampala commissioned a one–billion shillings Dr. Rita Moser organ Transplant Centre at Rubaga Hospital. Rubaga became the first privately owned hospital after Mulago National Regional Referral Hospital to have such as facility.

Mulago National Regional Referral Hospital went on to have the first successful kidney transplant in December 2023. The patient and the Kidney donor were discharged in January 2023.

For a hospital like Rubaga to perform organ transplant services, it must be accredited by the Uganda Human Donation and Transplant Council.

The Uganda Human Donation and Transplant Council is provided for under the Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant Act 2022 which was assented to by President Museveni on 15th March 2023.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Orach, the executive secretary of the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau urged the government to increase its contribution to Private Not For Profit Hospitals.

He urged the minister to consider raising the allocation from the current 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent, emphasizing that these institutions contribute up to 30 percent of the country’s health indicators services output.

He also urged the minister to expedite the legal processes of the national health insurance and incorporate community health schemes into the same law.



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