Muscat: Omanis desperate for kidney transplants are travelling abroad to buy black market organs and undergo illegal surgeries say doctors, who warn they are putting their lives at risk.
A shortage of donors and months of waiting for surgery in the Sultanate forces Omani patients to spend a minimum of OMR 20,000 to buy a kidney overseas, say medics, despite it being illegal across the globe.
Oman is one of the six major organ importers in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), with Pakistan topping the list of countries exporting organs to the Sultanate in 2003, followed by Iran and India.
Recently, few cases have been reported in Egypt too.
“Omani patients are being exploited by corrupted dealers who defy laws in countries like Pakistan and China,” Dr Sadiq Abdul Baqi, senior consultant nephrologist at the Royal Hospital, told Times of Oman.
Desperate efforts by Omanis to get a kidney, from shelling out hefty sums of money to traveling through untrusted agents, can all go in vain in this gruesome underground trade, which is thriving, mainly driven by the rise of diabetics in the world.
“We have seen kidneys transplanted in wrong places, surgical gauzes left in the bodies, surgical scars made, and no kidneys transplanted,” Abdul Baqi said while explaining that even the medications given post-transplant are not proper. “Their doses are wrong and no proper discharge papers are given to the patient so we even don’t know what happened during surgery,” he added.
-More at Times of Oman