Ugandan migrant workers to undergo body organ examination: DCIC

Uganda labour export companies in crisis as flights to UAE are suspended
Ugandans heading to United Arab Emirates (UAE) for work before the COVID-19 pandemic

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) has said all migrant workers will have to undergo body organ examination before flying out of Uganda.

Through Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Simon Peter Mundeyi, DCIC explains that the move to undergo body organ examination is intended to reduce incidents of people going for external labour but only to return when their organs are missing.

Mundeyi said the policy will be effective in the next two weeks and no person will be going for labour without undergoing body organ test. Labour export companies have been urged to prepare money for such expenses because no external worker will be cleared without that medical certificate.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs came up with a policy now requiring all these labour immigrants going out of the country to do a medical test to ascertain that they are in possession of all their body organs before flying out to do labour,” Mundeyi said.

“So we ask the companies that take people out to first incur that cost of ensuring that these labour migrants have all their organs. The heart, the kidney before going out to work.”

One of the recent victims of illegal organ transplant in Arab world is Judith Nakintu, who returned with a missing right kidney. She was brought back about eight months ago in a vegetative state. The report that accompanied Nakintu showed she was involved in a road crash. But Mulago hospital doctors confirmed that her right kidney was missing and she had never been involved in any road crash.

Nakintu went for work in Saudi Arabia via Nile Treasure Gate and its proprietors have since been charged in criminal court. Mundeyi adds that DCIC will ensure that all migrants workers are checked upon return to confirm whether they have returned with their body organs intact.

Although Abdallah Kayonde, the migrant workers advocate welcomes the move, he says it has been hurried because it will not help solve the devastating state in which workers are returned.

Kayonde explains that some people have returned when their organs are intact but the inhumane conditions they have endured in the hands of Arab employers have made them sustain everlasting physical and mental impairments which can only be catered for in the migrant workers insurance policy.

Read Also: UHRC calls for law on minimum wage to reduce labour export

“The workers should have insurance policy that would cover all this,” Kayonde said. “Many workers have come back in very devastating conditions. The workers are supposed to have an insurance policy. Many like Judith Nakintu haven’t been cared about. They should first fix the insurance policy for migrant workers and later look into how medicals will be done.”

At least 28 Ugandans allegedly died in the Middle East in 2021 when Uganda just like many other countries had shut borders in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19. Out of these, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) report shared with Parliament indicates that 25 were females while the rest were males.

The Ministry of Internal affairs report of 2021 on human trafficking indicates that 21 victims died locally and abroad.