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‘Kidney sold for KD 20,000 in Kuwait’ – Call for urgent action to curtail organ trade

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 5: The head of the Kuwait Society for Organ Transplant, and head of the Organ Provision Unit at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mustafa Al- Moussawi, has stressed the need for urgent action to prevent the continued trade in organs in Kuwait without deterrence, reports Al-Qabas daily. He pointed out that a kidney is sold for approximately 20 thousand dinars, outside the framework of the law.

In a statement to the daily he said the widespread advertisements requesting organ donation, especially kidneys, violate the law, and the concerned authorities must act urgently to prevent such ads with heavy punishment and deter those behind such activity.

Dr Al-Moussawi indicated that some people through advertisements in social media request a kidney donation, and the matter has reached the point of placing banners along the streets and roads. This is an explicit legal violation, and the necessary measures must be taken to ban it. Al-Moussawi said, “We have tried to address the phenomenon of selling organs, and earlier we had submitted proposals to the Ministry of Health to prevent such activity, and we hope that the current administration will implement it.” He touched on the spread of organ donation after death, indicating that the total number of donors in Kuwait after death is small, compared to European countries and North America, but it is better than Arab countries.

In response to a question from the daily about the mechanism for verifying that organ donors are not sellers, Al-Moussawi said: “There is a neutral committee based inside the Jahra Hospital, to look into cases of organ donation. If the committee senses that there is an agreement to sell the members immediately take legal action. He stated that organ trade exists in all countries of the world, and we must take strict measures to prevent it in Kuwait, because it is an inhuman and illegal act, stressing that organ trafficking is contrary to the law and medical and human values.

He stressed on the keenness to provide health and social care for patients and their organ donors, and to encourage research and scientific studies that contribute to improving, developing ways to transfer organs. He added, “We seek to reach 30,000 people who recommend donating their organs after their death.” He said Kuwait is the first country in the Arab world and the second in the Middle East, after Iran, in terms of the number of organ donors after death, compared to the population. He stated that last year the country witnessed about 50 kidney transplants from 32 donors after death, and 49 similar operations from living people, and “we hope in the future that the majority of transplants will be from deaths.”

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