Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Special Report: Arresting organ harvesting menace in Nigeria



The illegal sale or purchase of human organs for transplantation popularly called Organ harvesting came into prominence in the last four decades

It’s one of the crimes perpetrated globally at the moment and those who engage in it cut across the most unsuspected class with unsuspecting persons as victims.

Organ harvesting is the illegal removal of organs from ignorant victims such as the vulnerable, the poor or marginalized groups who are either compelled , defrauded, abducted, misled into believing it is lucrative or without their consent.

The Organ that is most transplanted is the Kidney and its legal sale in the World today is a global practice but many do it the criminal way.

Lawful organ transplantation involves voluntary donation of organs for the purpose of saving lives or improving health.

Six months ago, a former deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu was sentenced to 9 years and 8 months while his wife, Beatrice Ekweremadu bagged 4 years in prison in a case that had to do with for Organ harvesting at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, UK.

The National Health Act 2011, signed into law in 2014 by former president, Goodluck Jonathan to guide medical practice, now some section of it undergoing questioning.

Medical Doctors and Legal Practitioners have called for the repeal of section 48 and 51 of the law which deal with Organ trafficking.

A Legal Practitioner, Mr Tunde Okoro stated that National Health Act need to be amended before any authorization of organ transplanting

A Medical Doctor, Professor Philip Njemanze noted that only medical practitioners can authorize transplanting of Organs.

Another Expert, Ayo Ogidan reiterated that the donor must be fully carried along before any Organ transplanting can be carried out urging the National Assembly to take a look at Section 48 and 51 of the National Health Act.

Others posited that the illegal trade poses significant risks to both donors and recipients, including severe health complications, organ rejection, and even death while legal organ transplantation ensures safety, ethical standards, and proper medical care for both parties involved.

And for efforts being made to checkmate the menace of organ harvesting in Nigeria, that’s the story for another day.