Kidney Man Gave Informed Consent to Graft Surgery -Medical Council

The Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council has said that Muhamood Kabanda, 25, who was born with one kidney, offered his informed consent to undergo an operation on his head, which was finalized by cutting some tissue off his belly and grafting it on the head.     

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 claimed was surprised to find a cutting on his belly after returning from the theater. Scans from Malcom Health Center and Mengo Hospital that he took showed that he had one Kidney, which built to his suspicion that he had been robbed of his kidney. Kabanda and his family said that they had not been explained to that his belly would be cut to get a tissue to fix his head injury as explained by the operating surgeon he named as Alex Mugalu.

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, 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.  

The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council also launched investigations into the matter having received a complaint from the Director of State House Health Monitoring Unit. The Council got Kabanda’s medical file, a statement from the Hospital and on Wednesday 19th, subjected Kabanda to another examination by a team of medical personnel assembled by the Medical Council. 

According to Ass. Prof Dr. Joel Okullo, the head of the Council, Kabanda was born with one kidney and that the cutting that was found on his belly was explained to him and his caretaker by the doctor at Old Kampala Hospital. He says that the doctor in his statement indicated that he had explained to the family about what was going to happen and that the procedures of the surgery were included in his clinical notes viewed by the team of investigators.  

Dr. Okullo explains that a general surgeon with decades of experience who was part of the team of Investigators informed Council that it is normal practice to get fat from the belly to fix other Injuries in the body. The fat can be obtained from any other place like the thigh or buttocks but experts said, the belly is preferred because it comes with less inconvenience to the person.When URN contacted Kabanda he himself indicated he had no time for an interview because he was busy with his daily hustles in the market and hustling around using taxis.

Dr. Katumba Ssentongo Gulaba, the registrar of the Council however noted that they have noticed in cases they handle that some doctors don’t explain sufficiently to the patients about their illness and the treatment they are given. 

Investigations by Medical Council

Dr. Akullo told press at the Government Media Center on Thursday that a team of general surgeons, urologists and radiologists came together to examine Kabanda. He says, the team looked at all the previous scans conducted on Kabanda to draw their conclusions. The Radiologists recommended that Kabanda isn’t subjected to other scans which would further expose him to radiations but rather use the previous scans and reports.      

An analysis of the scans and reports showed that Kabanda was born with one Kidney, the right Kidney. 

Dr Okullo explains that there was no evidence that the left kidney was just removed since the main artery usually positioned between the two kidneys didn’t have any cutting. The scans also showed that Kabanda’s right Kidney was bigger in size and yet with multiple renal arteries. Kabanda was also asked to lift his leg straight which he did with ease, something that is not possible for someone who has recently had their internal organs tampered with, explained Dr. Okullo, adding that the condition of being born with one Kidney could happen in one in 750 people.

Dr. Okullo further explained that the incision on Kabanda’s belly was only about one centimeter deep, not enough to reach the Kidney. He explained that being at the back, Kidneys are easily reached from the back and not the belly. If it were to be accessed through the belly, he said, then the surgeon would have to cut deeper to ably bypass several muscles and organs to reach the Kidney.

Kabanda couldn’t be reached for a comment but one of his family members told URN on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized by Kabanda or his lawyers to talk, that Kabanda had accepted the findings of the Council and would not petition any court.

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