By Denis Kasule Ssebunya
Uganda Martyrs Hospital, Lubaga, is seeking accreditation from the Ministry of Health to commence organ transplant operations, asserting its readiness and well-equipped status for such procedures.
The request was announced by the hospital’s executive director, Dr. Julius Luyimbaazi, during his speech at the inauguration of the 125th-anniversary celebrations roadmap at Lubaga Hospital Training School today. Established on October 18, 1899, Lubaga Hospital was the second health facility in Uganda, following Mengo Hospital (February 27, 1897).
|During the event attended by the Minister of Health in charge of general duties, Hanifah Bangirana Kawooya, and the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese Paul Ssemwogerere, Dr. Luyimbaazi emphasized that the hospital has made all necessary arrangements and possesses the required equipment and human resources for organ transplant operations.
He disclosed that the hospital had formally communicated this to the ministry, indicating the completion of the organ transplant center by August 2023.
Dr. Luyimbaazi added that Lubaga Hospital is the second health facility in Uganda and the fifth in Eastern Africa to receive accreditation from the Council of Health Care Services Accreditation of South Africa (COHSASA), an internationally recognized health facilities accreditation institute.
He explained that this accreditation affirms that the facility’s services and operations meet internationally set standards, reflecting prestigious quality across infrastructure, personnel, equipment, guidelines, policies, and processes.
During the same meeting, Dr. Sam Orach, the executive secretary of the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau, emphasized the need for the government to increase its contribution to faith-based health facilities.
He urged the minister to consider raising the allocation from the current 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent, emphasizing that these institutions contribute up to 30 percent of the country’s health indicators services output. He also urged the minister to expedite the legal processes of the national health insurance and incorporate community health schemes into the same law.
In response to the raised issues, the minister provided an update on the legal process of the national health insurance scheme, mentioning its final stages with all stakeholders on board. She assured that it would soon be tabled in parliament for reading, attributing the delay to the cabinet’s request for rectifications. Regarding organ transplant accreditation, she acknowledged receiving the hospital’s letter and advised them to await the appointment of the organ transplant council, which will vet and accredit the facility for such operations.
Archbishop Ssemwogerere stated that Lubaga hospital is a celebrated health facility which has served as an example in Uganda’s medical sector. “Taking care of the sick is not only an act of humanity but also an instruction from our Lord Jesus Christ, which must be adhered to by every believer, and Lubaga has lived as an example in this line for the last 125 years.”
He added that the medical profession is a calling from God, therefore those practicing should not take it for granted, and they should willingly share it with others, especially those in need, as our Lord did during his earthly time when he healed the sick and even gave life to some like Lazarus. The archbishop stated,
“Through hospitals like Lubaga, the church is able to reach out to the sick like Jesus Christ. Notably, since the enactment of the Organ Transplant and Donor Act 2023, Mulago National Referral Hospital has been the only facility conducting organ transplant operations, with a successful kidney transplant in December 2023. Once accredited, Lubaga will be the second health facility in the country to perform organ transplant operations.