Kenya Moves to Streamline Organ Harvesting From Dead Patients

  • An ICU facility at a Kenyan hospital
    An ICU facility at a Kenyan hospital
  • Kenya is among the few Countries in Africa that have moved a step closer to streamlining organ harvesting and donation.

    The Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority has put together a National Tissue and Organ Transplant Technical Committee that is drafting regulations, standards and guidelines that will allow specific organ donation programs. 

    Speaking at the four-day Kenya  Renal Association in Mombasa, Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority, Acting Director Dr Nduku Kilonzo stated that the Bill will see a shift from the perennial reliance on the family donation of organs which has proven to be unreliable

    Kenyatta National Hospital.
    Kenyatta National Hospital.

    “We have to find a way of starting to get Kidneys and other organs from people who have died and to be able to do that or what we call diseased donor programs, we must have regulations, Kenyans must understand why it is important,” Dr Kilonzo said.

    The Program will see organs harvested from dead patients to save the lives of those alive but with organ challenges.

    However, there are legal complications involved during the harvesting of organs that may lead to a conflict of interest.

    “There are legal issues which determine death. Who retrieves the organs and where the transplantation will take place to avoid conflict of interest,” Dr Kilonzo stated.

    According to the authority, these cases are patients who may have died from accidents or were removed from ICU-supporting machines.

    However, organ harvesting will only take place only after prior consent from the deceased through a will and permission from the dead person’s family.

    Kenya Renal Association President Dr John Ngige says Kenya is grappling with shortage of kidney donors associated with factors such as health complications, and mismatching blood groups.

    Additionally, the cost of dialysis stands at  Ksh76,000 but will be reduced to Ksh42,000 when patients go through the kidney transplant process.

    By December, the draft health Bill will be ready, with the authority asking parliamentarians to rally behind it especially on educating Kenyans on the importance of organ transplants.

    Currently, Countries in Europe, the US and parts of Asia have enacted laws that allow the harvesting of body organs from dead patients for medical purposes.

    A doctor carrying out tests at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
    A doctor carrying out tests at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
    dead accident died death