Poverty and organ trade in Iraq


From Al Jazeera:

Poverty drives Iraq organ trade

Abject poverty across Iraq is fuelling an illegal trade in human organs.

Hundreds of people are believed to have sold kidneys and other organs through dealers in the capital, Baghdad, over the last year.

Karim Hussein made the long journey from Amara, a province in the south of Iraq, to Baghdad because he was desperate for the $3,000 he would get from the sale of a kidney there.

“I have taken a loan to build my house,” he told Al Jazeera.

“I thought I would be able to get work in order to be able to pay my debts back, but the daily amount I am getting is not enough to feed my family, I have eight children.”

About 23 per cent of Iraqis live in poverty, meaning that they are forced to survive on $2.2 a day or less, according to government figures.

Unemployment is also high, with at least 18 per cent of the population out of work, UN and government reports suggest. Unofficial estimates have put the figure as high as 30 per cent.

The organ brokers who arrange the deals between the desperately poor and those desperate enough to pay to save the life of a loved one, typically congregate around the hospitals.

At the Al-Khayal private hospital, one of Baghdad’s leading clinics specialising in organ transplants, the dealers refused to talk to Al Jazeera.

Dealers’ profit

Although Iraqi law allows people to donate their organs, their sale is illegal.

EGYPT: Selling Kidneys to Pay the Bills: here.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has announced that four surgeons and four others have been arrested for taking part in a scheme to recruit organ donors from former Soviet states and transplant the organs into wealthy foreigners: here.

7 thoughts on “Poverty and organ trade in Iraq

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