Dr. Warren Namara, the ED of the State House Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) has warned journalists against misinformation over human organ harvest in Uganda.
For the past few months, Ugandan hospitals have been tinted as Advocates for the increasing cases of human organ harvesting and had raised speculation of Uganda becoming one of the leading dealers in the illicit human organ trade.
Presenting an investigation report on a missing right kidney in a post-operative mother in Mubende Regional Referral hospital at the media center on Wednesday, Dr. Namaara noted that Reporters needed to reconsider engaging in such sensation but rather seek professional answers from relevant bodies.
“The current hype about organ harvest and trade is much more of a sensation than a reality. Hitech facilities and theatres in addition to highly skilled professionals are needed for any organ transplant,” Dr.Namaara said.
Adding that they were planning on having further dialogue with the affected family and authorities in the district to understand the science behind the findings and correct the misinformation.
In this Dr. Nammara said they will also conduct a dialogue meeting (Barraza) with the Community to explain this particular case and rebuild the trust of the Public in our Hospital.
HMU received media reports that alleged that a 20-year-old Postnatal mother Ms. Mulajjimaana Peragiya, a resident of Lwemiggo Village, Kabyuuma Parish, Kalonga Sub-county in Mubende District, visited Mubende Regional Referral Hospital for treatment and alleged lost her kidney during surgery.
According to the report, Ms. Mulajjimaana reported to the hospital with severe bleeding due to retained Placerita having delivered from a Traditional Birth Attendant, and together with the family consented to an operation to remove the uterus to stop the bleeding.
Having established the accusations, a team led by Dr. Stephen Ataro Ayella, a Clinical Epidemiologist and an Assistant Director at HMU was sent to investigate the matter. HMU established that Police had started investigations but were hampered by the lack of technical expertise that HMU rendered.
During the investigation, it was established that the patient was admitted on 24″ April 2022 at 23:40 hours after delivery with help of a Traditional Birth Attendant and was bleeding profusely from some nearby Health facility. lt was established that an IV cannula was put in by a nearby HCII (Kibyamirizi). However on inquiries with the HCII, they denied having seen the patient and indeed there were no records of her in their books, perhaps the Cannula was put in a private clinic that they refused to disclose. At 23:45 after a thorough assessment, a subtotal hysterotomy was done.
The patient was discharged on 29 April 2022 (4 days after surgery) and advised to return for a review on 11″ May 2022 Patient then reported to Mubende Imaging Centre with abdominal pain, a scan was carried out on 4″ May 2022.
The results of this scan showed the right kidney was not visualized and the radiographer recommended them to go for further tests in Kampala and advised them to get further inquiries into the matter from the opinion leader.
The family also reported that they had met some Lawyers who read the story and were interested in taking on legal suits in regards to this matter and on 13 May 2022 a team of five people who introduced themselves as journalists came to the Senior Hospital Administrator and demanded that they wanted to run a story on the media on the alleged absence of the kidney as per the scan report done 10 days after the operation. These were advised to wait as treatment and investigation were still going on the very same day.
The hospital met with the patient and two male relatives and explained the occurrence of this abnormality found on the scan and advised them to go for further check-ups in Kampala, especially by a Urologist, and do further tests. On 26 May 2022, the daily Monitor run a story on the missing Kidney of a patient in Mubende Hospital. On the same day, the Hospital Director wrote a letter to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health explaining this allegation attaching all treatment and test records while the patient was hospitalized.
On 26 May 2022 following the media report, Dr. Alex Andema, the Hospital.
Director wrote to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health ref MRH/213/6 giving clarification on the allegations, and findings during the surgery done and recommended further investigations be done.
On 30 May 2022 as further investigations into this matter were ongoing the Hospital Director arranged a referral for investigation for the Patient/Victim to Mulago National Referral Hospital, accompanied by the family, the Police Investigating Officer (10) an Obstetrician, and Gynecologist Abdominal Computerised Tomography (CT) was done by the Radiologist Dr. Sharif Kikomeko and a report is provided.
The Scan revealed no Kidney tissue on the right renal bed and an enlarged left kidney, she was also examined thoroughly to rule out any cut or incision on the abdomen other than the surgical incision scar on the lower abdomen.
The examination found no other scar other than the lower abdomen surgery commonly known as “bikini” (plane still) incision, met with district authorities and Hospital administrators to discuss and conclude the matter with an opinion from the expert Dr. Frank Asiimwe Rubabinda a Consultant Urologist and Kidney Transplant Surgeon thus taking on Investigations that Police had already started, additional statements from the Hospital staff and met with the patient and some family members to discuss the findings of the Report from Mulago NRH.