The Lagos State government has started the process of regulating organ harvest and transplantation through a bill that would create a department for its regulation at the state Ministry of Health.
To achieve this aim, the state’s House of Assembly on Wednesday held a public hearing titled: “Lagos State Organ Harvest And Transplantation Bill,” and for other connected purposes.
The department is through the commissioner for health Professor Akin Abayomi expected to advise the state government on all matters relating to organ harvest, transplantation and preservation.
The deputy speaker of the House Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshilokun who represented the Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said the bill when passed into law will guide the department to formulate and develop state strategies, guidelines and protocols for medical transplant and harvest in the state.
He noted that one of the rationale for increasing rate of kidnappings and other heinous crimes could be ascribed to illegal organ transfer and transplant adding that it has become a booming business and the market is readily available.
Eshinlokun pointed out that organ harvest and transplant is a medical practice that should be properly regulated.
Chairman, Committee on Health, Soluble Hakeem said the law is expected to regulate organ transfer and transplant.
Also contributing to the bill, a member of the editorial board of Thisday Newspaper, who is also a lawyer, Mr. Sanni Ekpowusi advised that there should be a specific definition of the organs to be captured, while alleging that some female students of the University of Lagos market their embryo eggs.
Ekpowusi also suggested that members of the authorization committee should include Imams, clergies, psychologists, medical doctors and lawyers.
Professor Awodunsi, First Vice President of Transplant Association of Nigeria stated that they had been working with the Ministry of Justice on the issue for a long time and that the law will regulate organ harvesting and transplanting in the state.