KENYA – New milestone as Outgoing President of Kenya Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has inaugurated the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority that will be tasked with regulating all services relating to human cells, tissue and organ transplant in accordance with the Health Act, 2017.
According to the Ministry of Health, Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority will succeed the Department of the National Blood Transfusion, Tissue and Human Organ Transplant Services in line with Kenya’s endeavor to ensure access to safe and ethical use of human cells, tissues and organs.
The Ministry stated that the authority will have a board consisting of a non-executive Chairperson appointed by the President with support from the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of health responsible for finance or his or her representative and the Attorney-General or his representative.
The Chairperson of the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority will be required to have knowledge and experience in matters relating to hematology, pathology, transplant medicine, finance, management, economics, law or any other relevant field.
The new tissue and organ transplant authority will ensure the safety, biosafety and wellbeing of donors and recipients in medical services relating to human derived medical products through the establishment and maintenance of systems that comply with safety and legal requirements.
Kenya has developed the Kenya Policy on Donations, Transfusion and Transplant of Human derived medical products, the first integrated policy on blood, cells, tissues and organs in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.
The authority will be tasked with regulating all services relating to human cells, tissue and organ transplant in accordance with the Health Act, 2017 including registering and licensing facilities and establishments dealing with human cells, tissues and organs and transplant services.
In addition, the Health Ministry said the Mandate for the Authority is to maintain a registry of transplant service providers, donors and recipients as well as establish an equitable mechanism for matching and allocation of cells, tissue and organs.
The Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority will also oversee the implementation of policies, guidelines, procedures and standards relating to human tissues and organs and collaborate with other established organ exchange organizations in other countries, for the exchange of tissue and organs.
The new healthcare authority will provide support services for transfusion and transplant systems including testing, grouping, typing, banking, processing, distribution, manufacturing and quality control as well as collaborate with established organ exchange organizations in other countries.
Furthermore, the authority will be collaborating with other stakeholders in conducting research on human cells, tissues and organs and related services amid increased investments in modern blood processing, storing, testing equipment, access to safe organs and transplantation services and distribution mechanisms in Kenya.
The authority will play the crucial role of developing a national emergency response mechanism including maintenance of strategic reserves for human tissues and organs while mobilizing, educating and sensitizing members of the public to foster voluntary donations of cells, tissues and organs.
The Health Ministry noted that the authority will be advising the Health Cabinet Secretary, National and County Governments and all stakeholders on ethical, legal and clinical issues related to services for human cells, tissue and organ transplant.
The Ministry further said that the authority has been given powers to make and enforce directions to ensure compliance, inspect hospitals periodically for examination of the quality of transplantation and the follow-up medical care to persons who have undergone transplantation and persons from whom organs are removed.
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