Parliament To Consider Bill On Human Assisted Reproductive Technology In Uganda

Parliament To Consider Bill On Human Assisted Reproductive Technology In Uganda

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The former Minister of State for Health (General Duties), Hon. Sarah Opendi, has introduced a private members’ Bill seeking to regulate the human assisted reproductive technology following the increase in the number of persons opting for the service in the country. 

The Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, 2023, also seeks to provide for the rights and duties of persons involved in human assisted reproductive technology and the rights of children born through the technology, and regulate the donation and storage of embryos.

Presiding over the House sitting on Tuesday, 05 March 2024, the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, referred the Bill to the Committee on Health for consideration.

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While tabling the Bill, Opendi (NRM, Tororo District Woman MP) said that the Bill also seeks regulate the various fertility clinics that are operating and increasing in Uganda without any piece of legislation.

“We have consulted stakeholders and to our surprise, many African countries that started these services 30 years ago do not have any legislation. Uganda will be one of the few countries where other countries will benchmark if this Bill is passed,” Opendi added.

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Parliament initially granted leave to Opendi to move the Private Member’s Bill in July 2022.

In her justification, Opendi said that the increasing demand for the use of human assisted reproductive technology has been necessitated by the growing cases of primary and secondary infertility and other health related challenges among persons seeking to have children.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, assisted reproductive technology procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in a laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman.

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The Bill also seeks to provide for the designation of health units as fertility centers, provide for the establishment of sperm and sperm banks within fertility centers. 

The proposed law will also designate the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council as the body responsible for the administration of the Act.

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