Following a new law that allowed transplants from the dead, the Health Ministry established a department to guide the donation of body organs.
The new unit headed by Dr. Fridah Govedi, was merged with the National Blood Transfusion Service in a review of departments that affected 112 employees.
According to Business Daily, the National Blood Transfusion Service, and Human Organs Transplantation, will lead the implementation of the Health Act 2017, which allows people to donate their organs for research and to other persons once they die.
Kenyatta National Hospital’s Head of Renal Unit Dr. John Ngigi stated that the department would create a regulatory framework which would govern how organs can be transplanted in Kenya.
“This will change how things are done in as far as transplants are concerned. This law makes it clear on the harvesting of organs and even makes it possible for people to consent to have their organs donated after they die,” Ngigi elaborated.
The new law allows a person, who is competent to make a will, to donate his or her body or any specified tissue to a person or institution of his choice after death.
Such consent can also be given by a spouse, elder child, parent, guardian elder brother or sister in the event the person died without leaving a will.
In the event that the relatives of a deceased person cannot be traced and no will is left behind, the Health Cabinet Secretary has powers to donate the body or its parts.
The Health Act 2017 states that an organ donation must be done for free and those who breach the law face a fine not exceeding Ksh10 million or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both.
The donation may be made for the purpose of training students in medical learning institutions, research or advancement of health sciences or healing purposes.
The medical practitioner who authorises the organ transplant will not be allowed to be the lead participant in the operation.
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