Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Do you know the value of your body organs? HOT is a $1.5 billion industry

CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease has now become a global health phenomenon, with more than 2 million people who are currently requiring renal replacement all around the world. Kidney Failure or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which is a direct outcome caused by CKD, requires an extremely costly renal replacement therapy which are done in the form of either organ transplantation or dialysis in an attempt to sustain the health of the patient. With this current unprecedented boom in the demand for Kidneys as well as other organs of the human body for the purpose of transplantation, either because of the increase in awareness amongst the patients or the readily available facilities for advanced treatment, coupled with extremely wealthy patients who are now willing to spend unimaginable sums of money for illegal transplants. Due to this huge demand and huge money involved, a $ 1.5 billion black market for organs and human parts has thrived.

The WHO or World Health Organization has currently estimated that there are around 10,000 illegal organ transplants annually, with the patients receiving these operations paying upwards of $200,000 for the medical procedure. In the last five years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has stopped around 27 people from donating their organs because the authorities suspected that there were commercial motives involved. In a detailed interview to the Saudi Gazette / Okaz, the director general of the SCOT or Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Dr. Faisal Bin Abdul Rahim Shaheen has cited the growing demand for more organ donors inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia however he also reconfirmed the determination of the authorities and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in fighting all forms of illicit and illegal organ trades and human organs and body parts black markets.

DG SOT Dr. Shaheen casually downplayed the huge growth of cases of renal failure in the Kingdom, by stating that this was not a local issue but a universal phenomenon which is not caused by any error in the system. He added that it was a pressing issue which is faced by all the countries in the world. There are currently at least 5 major reasons which have caused an increase in the cases of renal failure, which are;

  1. Population Growth
  2. Increased Life Expectancy
  3. Early detection of the disease
  4. Availability of effective medicines
  5. Quality services provided at dialysis centers
All of these reasons will directly or indirectly cause an increase in the number of patients who are looking for an organ donor. The chief of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation has stated that his organization is pressing down hard for the inclusion of the title of organ donor which is often cited on the driving licenses of those people who are willing to or those who intend to donate their organs. This is a good step which will ensure that those patients, who are in dire need of the organs or any other help, will receive it accordingly.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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