Health Minister: Organ & Tissue Transplant Bill will provide more initiatives to fight COVID-19

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Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

The Human Organ and Tissue Transplant Bill will open the pathway for Guyana to improve the range of its health services, as this proposed law, once passed, will boost the sector in its fight against diseases and viruses, including the Coronavirus.

In a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), as the government prepared to present the bill for its second reading to the National Assembly, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony explained that the bill seeks to update the current legislation to include the necessary transplants.

“Our legislation did not contemplate this type of medical procedure. So, what we’re doing is putting the legal framework in place to allow us to do this safely and put in all the safeguards, put in all the best practices that are obtained around the world as it relates to harvesting organs, and of course, making sure we have a proper scrutinised list for donors,” the minister explained.

The minister highlighted that the bill specifically improves the healthcare services that can be provided to persons who have been diagnosed with end-stage renal diseases. With the current legislation, these patients will have to consistently endure dialysis treatments, which are usually costly and time-consuming. Through the introduction of this bill, however, persons can access services that will make their lives easier as they battle diseases of this nature.

“Transplants, especially kidney transplants, are very effective in terms of assisting patients because they are no longer required to come three times a week to be able to get dialysis…all of this can be removed if you get a transplant and that person can also return to almost normal work life,” said the health minister.

When asked how this bill can assist in the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Anthony pointed out that the monoclonal antibodies which have proven to be effective in fighting off the deadly virus are now being made synthetically and the introduction of this bill allows for these immune boosters to be transfused into a person’s body.

“We have been able to identify the monoclonal antibodies…and they have been able to now make those synthetically and use them in patients, and they’ve been working quite well,” Minister Anthony confirmed.

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