| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

Lebanese forced to sell kidneys as economic crisis worsens

The “Times” newspaper published a report entitled “Lebanese forced to sell their kidneys in light of the worsening economic crisis,” and said that the Syrian refugees’ doing so inspired some Lebanese who complain of hardship.

The Times pointed out that there are more than one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the economic collapse in the country has pushed a large number of people into extreme poverty, which has led to an increase in the illegal trade in human organs, and the writer adds that if they were not exposed to fraud and deception by Traffickers, it is expected that the donor will receive an amount ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 for the sale of one kidney.

With a regular job as a chef at a roadside diner, and no wife and children to care for, Bashar Jomaa Ahmed should not be desperate enough to sell his kidney.

Yet he has made the rounds of seven doctors near his home to the north of Beirut, asking if they will help him find a recipient willing to pay.

Naima Muhammad al-Ali said that her husband abandoned the family and that the camp they lived in was too unsafe to leave her daughters alone, which pressured her two teenage sons to earn money for the family, as she feared they would join a drug gang and be arrested or killed.

Naima told The Times that she heard, in a doctor’s office, other women talking about selling their kidneys to support their families, and now she is also looking for a buyer, and added: “I have no other choice.”

Before the crisis, the aid of neighbors and charities was sufficient to support Naima, but this is no longer the case, according to “The Times”. Farida Younan, coordinator with the National Authority for Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue in Lebanon, says that although Syrian refugees have long been inquiring about selling kidneys, most phone calls now come from poor Lebanese.

She told The Times that her response has always been that “the sale of organs is illegal”, although she sympathizes with their plight.

“We all know about the economic and financial situation in Lebanon and the devaluation of the currency and its consequences for the middle class. The situation is the same for refugees,” she said.

  • Time