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Obasanjo Urges Immediate Legislative Action to Combat Organ Trafficking

by inlandtownadmin
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo emphasized the pressing need for legislation to address organ harvesting and trafficking in the country during his speech at the 36th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Nephrology. He stressed the necessity for a new bill to support individuals affected by kidney disease. According to a statement from his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo urged relevant agencies to scrutinize existing laws, particularly regarding cadaveric donations, taking into account cultural nuances and regulations governing organ procurement from living donors.

In addition to advocating legislative action, Obasanjo commended the association for its efforts in advocacy, screening, and awareness campaigns aimed at reducing the prevalence of kidney disease, particularly among youth and children. Citing statistics indicating that approximately 15% of adult Nigerians suffer from irreversible kidney failure, he highlighted the disproportionately high incidence of kidney problems in Africa compared to other regions.

Enumerating the causes of kidney failure such as hypertension, diabetes, genetic factors, and misuse of herbal medications and painkillers, Obasanjo underscored the need for heightened awareness, enhanced healthcare infrastructure, and early detection methods to address the challenges associated with kidney disease management.

Furthermore, Obasanjo proposed an expansion of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to provide more comprehensive coverage for dialysis sessions, citing examples from South Africa and Sudan where such support is more substantial.

Recent legal cases further highlighted the gravity of the issue, such as the sentencing of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and others involved in an organ trafficking scheme. Authorities found Ekweremadu and his accomplices guilty of conspiring to exploit a young Lagos street trader for his kidney in London. Similarly, the arrest of two medical doctors in Plateau State for their alleged involvement in organ harvesting highlights the urgency of addressing this illicit practice within the medical community.

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