Mubende hospital on the spot over missing kidney

The victim, Ms Peragiya Muragijemana (right), and her mother Periya Musanabeera at their home in Kibyamirizi, Mubende District, on May 24.  Photo / BArbara nalweyiso

What you need to know:

  • The victim says she had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition and needed to undergo a surgical operation, only for her kidney to be allegedly harvested without her consent.

Police in Mubende District are investigating allegations that unscrupulous medics at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital extracted a kidney from an unsuspecting expectant mother .

The victim, Ms Peragiya Muragijemana, 20, is a resident of Lwemiggo Village, Kabyuuma Parish, Kalonga Sub-county in Mubende District. She narrates how she had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition and needed to undergo a surgical operation, only for her kidney to be allegedly harvested.

Ms Muragijemana says she had given birth at the hands of a traditional birth attendant, but failed to deliver the placenta, resulting in over-bleeding.

“On April 24, I developed labour pains and I was rushed to a nearby traditional birth attendant, where I delivered a baby girl. Unfortunately, the placenta failed to come out and I was taken to  Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, where my  husband, [Mr] Amos Tiringanya, was asked to sign a document consenting that I undergo an operation, ”she said in an interview with the Daily Monitor on Monday.

In defence of his wife, Mr Tiringanya said medics asked him to consent in writing to his wife’s operation to remove the uterus after doctors informed him it was the only way to save her life since she was haemorrhaging.

“After the operation, my wife was brought back to the ward unconscious and was discharged in three days due to congestion at the hospital. We took her to my mother in-law’s home in Kibyamirizi,” he said.

He added: “But after three days, I received a call from my mother-in-law informing me that my wife had developed stomach complications. We went for an ultra sound scan, which showed that her right kidney was missing. I only signed a document consenting to the removal of my wife’s uterus to save her life, not her kidney.”

The victim’s mother, Ms Piyera Musanabeera, narrates that when her daughter was discharged, four days later, she developed stomach complications and her after-surgery wound started oozing pus before she was rushed to a nearby health centre in Kibyamirizi.

“On Wednesday, May 4, I took my daughter to Mubende Imaging Centre for a scan where we were informed that she doesn’t possess both her right kidney and uterus,” she said.

She appealed to police to conduct thorough investigations about the medics who allegedly extracted her daughter’s kidney.

CT scan results released by Mubende Imaging Centre, which Daily Monitor has seen, indicate:  “there is a fluid collection containing internal echoes and measuring (6.6x1.9) cm in the anterior abdominal wall in the region above the scar and majorly on the left side. Uterine body and fundus are not visualised.”

“…scan of the rest of the abdomen reveals an enlarged left kidney (12.4x6.0) cm, but with a normal echo pattern and outline. The right kidney is not visualised...,” the results prepared by senior radiographer Simon Peter Babumba, read.

However, Dr Onesmus Kibaya, the administrator of Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, advised the family of Ms Muragijemana to remain calm as the hospital also carries out its own investigations.

“It is true, we have Ms Muragijemana in our records, but we doubt the tests done by Mubende Imaging Centre. We advise the family to visit another imaging centre, there is a possibility that she was born with one kidney or it was removed much earlier before being admitted to our facility,” he said.

He explains that when a woman is pregnant, major organs get compromised. Such organs include the heart, kidney and the uterus.

Dr Godfrey Malemeko, a senior gynaecologist at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, said there are a number of steps to be followed before a kidney transplant procedure is recommended.

“Among such procedures include investigations and consultancy,” he said.

“Besides, kidney injury procedure is not even managed at Mubende hospital, it’s handled at Mulago hospital”.

The Wamala regional police spokesperson, Ms Rachel Kawala, said they have recorded a statement from the patient’s father, Mr Sebastian Rwimo, and investigations into the matter are ongoing.

“We have opened up a file investigating allegations that Mubende Regional Referral Hospital extracted a kidney of one Peragiya Muragijemana when she went for delivery. We are also going to conduct more tests on the patient as police. The results will dictate the next step, whether to summon the hospital staff who carried out the operation or not," Ms Kawala said.

Background

Organ harvesting schemes with an intent to make money are not a new phenomenon. This latest claim of kidney extraction comes at a time when a joint team of investigators from security agencies and immigration is probing the increasing reports of illegal harvesting of internal organs of Ugandan domestic workers. The team is comprised of detectives from the forensic department, Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and Interpol. Others include cross-border experts from the immigration department.

There are at least four cases of unlawful organ transplantations involving four Ugandan women whose organs were allegedly removed when they went to work as housemaids in Oman and Saudi Arabia.

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