Kampala, Uganda | URN | An examination done by the Medical Council and Dental Practitioners’ Council has concurred with the findings of police investigations that Muhammed Kabanda, 25, was born with only one kidney.
A fortnight ago, Kabanda, a trader in Owino market opened a case at Old Kampala police station alleging that his left kidney was removed when he went for treatment at Old Kampala Hospital.
Kabanda sought treatment having sustained a head injury in a motor accident but was surprised to find a cutting on his belly after returning from the theatre. Scans from Malcom Health Center and Mengo Hospital that he took showed that he had one kidney, which built suspicions that he had been robbed of his kidney.
Police launched investigations into the matter, and Kabanda was sent for an abdominal pelvic CT scan and brain scan to determine whether he had one kidney or two, if he had one, or if the other was recently removed through a surgical procedure. The brain scan was to establish the extent of his injury.
The scan conducted at Kampala Imaging Center (KIC) in Kololo by Associate Professor Kiguli Malwadde, a specialist radiologist showed that Kabanda was born with one kidney, a congenital problem (one a person is born with). Renal agenesis is the term used to refer to a condition where one is born with one or no kidney.
At the time the KIC report came out, the Medical Council had also already commenced independent investigations into the matter. The investigations were initiated by the Director Health Monitoring Unit of State House after Kabanda’s story had gone viral on both social and main stream media.
“Pursuant to the request, the Council has since retrieved the patient’s file from the hospital and obtained statements from the hospital management and the doctor that performed the surgery… Unfortunately, the Council is yet to get a detailed statement from Kabanda,” read a letter dated Monday 17th October 2022, from the registrar of the Medical Council Dr. Katumba Ssentongo Gulaba, who wrote to Lukwago and Company Advocates, Kabanda’s lawyers.
In the letter, the Council asked Kabanda’s lawyers to avail him to make his formal statement of claim/complaint if any before the council. Also, that they provide Council with all medical documents and radiology reports that are in his possession concerning this matter under investigation and lastly, to present Kabanda before a team of specialists constituted by the Council that include a radiologist, general surgeon, urologists and neuro surgeon to examine him on Wednesday 19th October 2022, at Mulago National Referral Hospital at 10am.
On Wednesday 19th, Kabanda was subjected to another examination, and the results confirmed what the earlier police report had found. A source at the council and among Kabanda’s family members confirmed the development, although the Council registrar declined to answer to any questions regarding the subject matter.
“There is a press briefing tomorrow at the Media Center and that shall be talked about,” said Dr. Katumba, who over the weekend had told this publication that they intended to investigate the matter to its conclusion and inform the general public of their findings, especially the people who would fear to seek services from hospitals citing such allegations.
Kabanda himself also confirmed recieving the findings from the Council as saying that he was born with one kidney. He however didn’t share any details and what the next step would be as he said he was still engaged with some personal errands at the time we contacted him.
Kabanda’s case has added to a number of others in which some Ugandans have accused medical officials of harvesting their kidneys. The two hospitals that have been pointed to in the recent past were Mulago National Referral Hospital and Mubende hospital. However, medical doctors and investigations by the State House Health Unit have dismissed such allegations with investigations proving to the contrary.
Earlier this week, the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that several people are making such allegations because they have limited knowledge regarding the subject and that they act on suspicions. She acknowledged the need for sensitization of the public.
According to experts, a person can be born with one kidney and still live a normal life. This condition is especially seen in men. Although a normal kidney is said to be about 79.6*8.1mm in size, when a person has only one kidney, it tends to be bigger and with more renal arteries not one as is usually is. The police report showed that Kabanda’s right and only kidney was 122.2 *64.2mm in size and had multiple renal arteries.