By Beatrice Thomas
Pakistan, China and Egypt were key markets for illegal trade in human organs, says Saudi doctor
As many as 410 Saudis have bought organs – mainly kidneys – from the black market for illegal transplantations over the past two years, Makkah daily reported.
Dr Faisal Shaheen, director of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplants, was quoted as saying: “A total of 220 Saudis bought organs for transplants from markets in Pakistan, China and Egypt in 2013 and 190 did the same in 2012 at their own personal expense.”
He claimed transplant operations for all the Saudis had succeeded but about 40 percent of them had to seek further treatment for various side-effects, the Saudi Gazette reported.
“This is how the doctors discovered that the citizens bought organs from the black market and illegally got them transplanted and later informed the centre,” he said.
Shaheen said the centre informed the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is spearheading efforts to put an end to the trade, including a study into a potential “organ code” that made it imperative for patients to state clearly where they obtained the organs.
“This procedure aims to curb the black market in organs,” he reportedly said.
Shaheen said there was no mechanism to prevent Saudis from travelling outside for organ transplants, with current laws requiring patients in the kingdom to be put on a waiting list.
More than 7,000 patients are in need of kidney transplants in Saudi.
In 2013, only 77 out of 750 families of brain-dead patients agreed to let the patient be an organ donor.For all the latest health tips & news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.