By Claire Valdini
Six nationals have been admitted to hospital following kidney transplants abroad
Doctors in Bahrain have urged patients suffering from kidney problems not to undergo illegal kidney transplants after several patients suffered complications following surgery abroad, local media has reported.
Six Bahraini nationals have been admitted to hospital in the last year following surgery, including one 50-year old man who later died, doctors in the Gulf state told Gulf Daily News.
“We have found six patients who underwent kidney transplant abroad and returned with complications,” said Dr Sadiq Abdulla, a consultant vascular and renal transplant surgeon at the Salmaniya Medical Complex.
“Illegal organ trade increases the cost of kidney transplant from BHD25,000 (US$66,312) to BHD40,000.
“We strongly urge patients to stop travelling abroad immediately for kidney transplant as in Bahrain there are qualified transplant teams equipped with all the facilities to conduct surgeries,” he added.
Soaring diabetes rates coupled with a lack of donor schemes are forcing many wealthy Arabs to seek illegal kidneys abroad. Last year Dubai-based classified website Dubizzle was forced to remove an advert offering a “flawless” human kidney for a sale at a price of AED200,000.
The GCC states have been slow to introduce cadaver transplant schemes common in Western nations, meaning the vast majority of transplants currently use living donors.
The subsequent shortage has sent patients to Egypt, India, Pakistan and the Philippines for illegal operations, at a cost of up to US$15,000 per organ.
Also complicating the matter is the high rate of diabetes among GCC citizens, a condition that can increase the chance of renal failure. The Gulf states have some of the highest rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the world, with the UAE ranks second worldwide for diabetes incidence.
A report by the Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions in December found Egypt had seen a surge in organ trafficking after its Arab Spring revolution left gaps in law-enforcement.
The report estimated that thousands of refugees and poor citizens were victims of the country’s thriving illicit organ trade, with hundreds more targeted in states such as Jordan, Syria and Iraq.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.