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Body Parts Trade Spreads Under Egyptian Gov’t Neglect
Body Parts Trade Spreads Under Egyptian Gov’t Neglect
Ahmed Hammouda, a bus driver in Cairo did so. He found himself unemployed and he decided to donate his kidney so that he could get money to support his family. Hamouda wasn’t paid the money. It was a theft. They stole his kidney in return for nothing.
Tuesday, August 21,2007 21:30
“I donated my kidney !!” these words aren’t said by an aged person who likely wants to do something good in his life through donating his kidney to a patient or a medical research center!. They are currently said by many youth suffering from grinding poverty who find nothing to alleviate their needs except for donating their body parts and posing risks to their bodies, under the full ignorance of the government.
Ahmed Hammouda, a bus driver in Cairo did so. He found himself unemployed and he decided to donate his kidney so that he could get money to support his family. Hamouda wasn’t paid the money. It was a theft. They stole his kidney in return for nothing.
Karam bought a kidney for his sick sister for $5,300. He knew later that the donor was given only 300 dollars.
It is a bitter and painful reality observed by those following up the file of the body parts trade in Egypt , called body parts tourism, according the New York Times. It is no longer restricted to need, but it has turned into a complete trade that has its resources and places, and even those responsible for it are well-known!
International media described the phenomenon in Egypt by calling Egypt “the Brazil of the Middle East . This is because Brazil is very famous for organ transplant operations to the extent this business in Brazil is based on fraud and with prices which are cheaper than those in Egypt !
Observers of the phenomenon pointed out that poverty and ignorance in Egypt are the most important reasons that led to such a phenomenon, including that "the moral environment is completely bad, the same as the regime in Egypt " according Akram Al Shaer a member of the Egyptian People"s Assembly. He added that:” People are poor, and need money and they lack a full awareness of life. A number of doctors are involved in this phenomenon". Other observers said that the spread of the street children phenomenon in Egypt injected new blood into this hideous phenomenon, as people working in such illegal trade exploit children for their material and living needs. It is worth mentioning that the number of street children in Egypt is up to 2 million children !!.
Al-Shaer added:" The government’s supervisory role has disappeared. Also, lacking laws and legislations that can tackle such a phenomena sharpened it more".
The Egyptian MP told Ikhwanweb correspondent that Egyptian MPs are about to issue law related to organ donation and transplant. The law is in its final touches and will be issued soon".
MP Farid Ismail pointed out that the members of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc exert efforts to quickly enact such a legislation, saying:” We as MB bloc members keen on ratifying such a legislation so that people feel it on the ground.” He added that most articles of the bill law were discussed and it is about to be enacted.
"We expect that the expected law will control the organs transplants and donations more accurately", said Ismail, pointing out that the law will include many binding provisions and deterrent punishments against any person or institution that carry out such a measure.
“The legislative intervention is more important for the time being. We can seek more solutions later, but the legal intervention and supremacy of law are main engines for any following stepe" added Ismail.
Abdel-Kader Hegazy, head of the disciplinary committee at the Doctors" Union , said Egyptian law lacks clear punishment for those involved in illegal transplants, making it easy for doctors to repeat the offence.
"The law says it is illegal to trade in organs but does not specify the punishment. We at the union suspended many doctors and closed their practices, but they have appealed before courts and won their licenses back," he told Reuters.
"It is an annoying and a regrettable situation. Well-known doctors and professors are doing this. They are rich people but they do it because they have no moral values."
The union has been pushing for legislation to regulate organ transplants, with a draft bill including heavy fines and a prison sentence for those involved and a ban on transplants between people of different nationalities.
“But the draft law has been languishing in parliament for several years” adds Hegazi .
Dr. Farid Ismail, a member of the MB parliamentary, said commenting on Hejazi statements, that the stated law is submitted in parliament long ago without any discussion. Nevertheless, he said most of the law articles have been discussed in previous parliamentary round (ended in July)". "This bill will be approved next November, and we will be keen on doing so” added Ismail.
Observers of the phenomenon unanimously agreed that the presence of strict laws and supervisory tools will be a curtain raiser for finding a solution for the problem. Educating the society is another step that helps in curbing the phenomenon. "Many people don’t know the risks of such operations. They sell their body parts to improve their living conditions, without knowing that such operations may lead to their death", said the Egyptian MB parliamentarian.
Other observers said that the government intervention may be considered a sovereign right to save people and it may curb such a phenomenon. The Ministry of Health can contribute along with others to making people aware of the dangers and not to be satisfied with the voluntary efforts. A tight supervision on hospitals may curb this hideous phenomenon according to others.
"Solving problems that may lead to this phenomenon, like street children, abject poverty and unemployment may solve this and many other problems” said the Egyptian MP.

Posted in Human Rights  
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