Kidney transplant a silent killer in South Sudan

By Deng Juach

Photo: Juba teaching hospital

January 14th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – In the fifty years since kidney transplantation was first performed, As outcomes have improved and more clinical indications have emerged, the waiting list for kidneys is by far the longest of all the solid organs; and, as it carries the smallest risk to living donors. In the United States the number of available deceased donors has remained relatively constant over the last several years. The current mechanism for procuring kidneys relies on voluntary donations by the general public, with the primary motivation being altruism. As a result of the organ shortage, a black market has developed in which the indigent are targeted and paid for their body parts.

In a war ravaged country like South Sudan, that descended in to civil war in December, 2013, When President Salva Kiir fired his former deputy Riek Machar, the health care system has been left devasted. The government allocation of its budget to health is less than 2%, contrary to the Abuja declaration, which requires some African countries to commit 15% of their budget to health. So many South Sudanese including politicians and the so called elites are left with no option than to seek for health services abroad in Egypt and India etc. In this countries “Hajat ta butuna de gi talawo bara, yala batuna de gi malawo be gutun”  . This practice if continued is not sustainable and will finish South Sudanese  future leaders, generals, politicians and civil populations as the countries where they are destined for these services are profiting from sell of our organs

In conclusion, my concerns regarding the selling of organs include: 1) Selling of organs puts the healthy donor at risk and is a violation of a core principle of medicine, “Do no harm”. 2) Selling of organs is unfair in that it sets up a two-tier system where the wealthy can purchase organs and the poor are coerced by financial incentives. 3) The idea of selling organs violates religious and community norms and may actually result in a decrease in the availability of organs as groups opposed to this concept may withhold altruistic donation. 4) It is simply immoral to sell organs. In a positive step the government did well to open up the Al cardinal renal dialysis hospital but to my opinion it is more safe and cost-effective to train our own doctors to be able to perform this procedure or else fly in these foreign doctors and they should perform these procedures in close supervision of Junubin doctors as we are making double losses by paying for this services and our organs are being stolen. In future, when the country is now stable, the government can come up with a law that regulates Kidney transplant and strengthen the capacity of the health system as the national emblem says Justice, liberty and Prosperity. Take it in good faith, don’t politic important issues do it for the common good and societal benefit.

The author is a public health expert and research fellow. He can be reached via: dmjdeng@gmail.com


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