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Ekweremadu: What you need to know about organ transplant

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Reactions as lady offers her kidney to Ekweremadu's ailing daughter

The recent arrest of the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice Ekweremadu by the London Metropolitan Police has generated mixed reactions in Nigeria and across the international community.

The Met Police earlier on Thursday said it had arrested and charged the duo for conspiring to bring a child to the UK for organ harvesting.

While the couples pleaded not guilty to the charges, and their trial adjourned to July 7, here are some things you need to know about organ transplants:

A person requires an organ transplant when one of their organs is failing or functioning very poorly. A chronically unwell individual can have a normal lifespan after receiving an organ transplant, which can extend their life.

A hereditary disorder such as polycystic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, or a heart abnormality causes many patients to require an organ transplant.

A person may potentially need a transplant as a result of physical organ injuries, chronic diseases like diabetes, and infections like hepatitis.

The transplant process varies slightly depending on the organ, but the need for a matching donor is a consistent theme.

What organs and tissues can be transplanted?

1. Liver
2. Kidney
3. Pancreas
4. Heart
5. Lung
6. Intestine
7. Corneas
8. Middle ear
9. Bone
10. Bone marrow
11. Heart valves
12. Connective tissue
13. Vascularized composite allografts (transplant of several structures that may include skin, uterus, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue).

Organ trafficking and forced organ harvesting are related offences in the UK.

In the United Kingdom, it is against the law to traffic organs and tissue. Organ donation is only permitted with a person’s permission.

There are two sorts of donations: Donations made while the donor is alive and donations made after death.

The brutality and torment that forced organ harvesting victims endure over time has been documented in reports.

Without consent or under duress, organs are extracted for use in transplantation. They are sold illegally to a market of potential purchasers, many of whom may be paying for a trafficked organ without realizing it and unconscious of their part in maintaining a system of coerced organ harvesting.

Because a patient or donor can survive with just one kidney, kidneys continue to be the most trafficked organ in the world. Each year, it is thought that 7,000 kidneys are illegally harvested and smuggled.