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FG Fights illegal organ buyers, sellers and hospitals involved in organ trafficking in Abuja

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The Nigerian Government has promised to punish anyone found guilty of kidney trafficking in the country, claiming that the action attracts a jail term not below two years or a fine of N1,000,000 or both. Many Nigerians, on social media, who commented on the report, expressed concern and demanded that the government should arrest those involved in the illegal trade. This is contained in a press statement signed and released by Patricia Deworitshe, Director (Media and Public Relations) for the Federal Ministry of Health while reacting to an investigative report done by Daily Trust which uncovered the trafficking of human organs in some part of the country’s capital city, Abuja. The newspaper in the investigation had equally exposed the role of private hospitals within the FCT in clandestine operations that involved the surgical removal of kidneys from minors in exchange for N1 million.

According to the statement, the minister while sympathising with the victims strongly condemned the act, adding that the ministry had improved its regulatory standards and practices to curtail such illegalities in the country’s health sector.
The statement reads: “The Federal Ministry of Health has taken note of a report published by the Daily Trust Newspaper titled “Inside Abuja’s Kidney Market where the Rich prey on the Poor in the FCT”. The Ministry is deeply concerned about and wholly condemns the heinous and inhumane act of kidney trafficking exposed in that report.

“We sympathize with those affected and wish to inform the public that the National Health Act (NHA) 2014 Sections 51-56 prohibits this illegal practice. Individuals who contravene or fail to comply with these provisions are committing an offense and are liable to a fine of N1,000,000 or imprisonment of not less than two years, or both. Both buyers and sellers engaging in this illegal trade, as well as medical practitioners and facilities where the act is performed, will face the full consequences of the law.
“Donating kidneys should only be carried out based on informed consent of the donor and medical advice, with privileged information about the process to save lives. The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) is investigating allegations of medical practitioners engaged in such activities.

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“While the Federal Ministry of Health is dedicated to improving regulatory standards and practices to enhance an effective and efficient healthcare system in line with the renewed hope agenda, we advise the public not to engage in such illegal practices.”

“If you have any information that can lead to the arrest of these perpetrators, please contact the Federal Ministry of Health at 08033228978,” the statement added.


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