Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has approved a law to stop the stealing of human organs and tissues, his health minister said on Tuesday, in a nation where women have been reportedly duped into unnecessary surgeries.
Recent examples of women recruited for domestic work in the Middle East being tricked into medical operations, then having their kidneys sold in international trafficking rings, have been documented by local media.
Health Minister Jane Aceng expressed gratitude to Museveni in a tweet for approving the Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant Bill 2023, which would better regulate the industry. “Uganda can now start a new chapter of organ transplant,” she said.
That occurred the day after Museveni and his administration garnered strong criticism from the international community for passing one of the strictest anti-LGBTQ laws in history, which contained the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”
The first of its kind in Uganda, the donation and transplant law outlaws the trade in human organs and tissues. Life in prison and hefty fines are among the possible penalties.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the prominent Catholic Church of the nation have already discussed how common organ trafficking is there.
Although there was no law in place, Aceng acknowledged that there was a strong demand for organ transplants in the nation in September 2022.