Nigeria: Exploitation and Deception: The Tragic Reality of Kidney Trafficking in Nepal

Nigeria: Exploitation and Deception: The Tragic Reality of Kidney Trafficking in Nepal

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

In the remote village of Hokse, nestled in the heart of Nepal, a disturbing trend has emerged – the rampant exploitation and deception of villagers into selling their kidneys. Referred to ominously as the “Kidney Valley” or the “village with a single kidney,” Hokse has become synonymous with the harrowing tales of individuals who have fallen victim to the insidious trade of organ trafficking.

Kidney trafficking, a form of illicit human organ trade, preys upon vulnerable communities, often luring individuals into a web of deception and false promises. Brokers descend upon villages like Hokse, enticing locals with the prospect of financial gain, while withholding crucial information about the irreversible consequences of kidney removal.

Tragically, many residents of Hokse recount tales of being deceived into believing that their kidneys would regrow after donation, a notion that belies the grim reality of organ transplantation. Kanchha and Ram, both in their forties, bear the scars of their ordeal, revealing how desperation drove them to part with a vital organ. Despite the promised financial reward, the physical and emotional toll of the surgery has left them incapacitated, with lingering pain and an inability to resume work.

The situation in Hokse has reached a critical juncture, with an alarming influx of young migrant men returning to the village with failing kidneys, necessitating urgent transplantation. Some attribute this surge in kidney failure to the grueling working conditions faced by Nepali laborers abroad, including extreme heat and dehydration.

Suman, a thirty-one-year-old villager, shares his harrowing journey of financial destitution and desperation, culminating in the agonizing decision to sell his kidney in India for a mere £3,000. His post-operative complications serve as a stark warning to others, as he implores fellow villagers to refrain from succumbing to the same fate.

The exploitation extends beyond the borders of Nepal, as individuals like Kachan reveal the complicity of counterfeit familial ties and corrupt medical practitioners in facilitating kidney trafficking in countries like India. Despite legal restrictions mandating familial donation and stringent documentation, the pervasive influence of illicit agents and unethical medical professionals perpetuates the cycle of exploitation.

Dr. Pukar Shresth, a leading transplant surgeon in Nepal, sheds light on the staggering impact of kidney trafficking on the country’s healthcare system. With labor migrants accounting for a significant portion of transplant recipients, the strain on resources and infrastructure is undeniable, exacerbating an already fragile healthcare landscape.

While there are claims that kidney sales in Nepal have ceased, the specter of exploitation continues to haunt vulnerable communities, driving some individuals to desperate measures in pursuit of a better life. The tales of suffering and deceit from Hokse serve as a sobering reminder of the pervasive injustice inherent in organ trafficking and the urgent need for concerted action to combat this egregious violation of human rights.

As the world grapples with the scourge of organ trafficking, it is imperative that authorities, healthcare professionals, and civil society organizations collaborate to dismantle the networks of exploitation and provide support to those affected by this heinous crime. Only through collective efforts can we hope to safeguard the dignity and well-being of individuals vulnerable to the predatory practices of organ traffickers.

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