Why You Should Not Sell Your Kidney to Strangers


Do you know your kidney could be worth Sh12.57m ($ 150,000) in the black market? Before you sell your kidney to get some quick cash, be very worried. Before you get into that flight, to go abroad, where a sponsor has gladly agreed to foot the costs, as well as pay you loads of money, be afraid.

Vulnerable and alone in a foreign country, on top of a surgery table in a backstreet hospital, under anesthesia, they might not only harvest one kidney, they might harvest both kidneys, your liver, your pancreas, your lungs, your eyes, and if there is a ready customer, your heart too. Facing grinding poverty, some Kenyans have willingly offered to sell their kidneys. The spread of illegal organ sales world over has gained momentum, being abetted by the Internet, a global shortage of organs for transplants and, in some cases, unscrupulous traffickers ready to exploit the economic misery.

They will post their details online, seeking customers. The customers will then contact the young money hungry sellers, organise for transport and accommodation to countries like Pakistan and India, where the organ will be harvested, but very few Kenyans ever come back home. The chilling details of sale of human body parts were revealed in a report filed by lawyer Isaac Baraza. “This is what we call victimless crimes. A person will be willing to sell their kidney, and they won’t discuss it with family members of even tell close friends. Once they leave the country to go donate the kidney, the sellers take advantage and not only harvest their kidneys, but also other body organs. Back in Kenya, nobody knows where the young person disappeared to.”

Globally, there is an increasing demand for organ transplants, and this global shortage of transplants makes organ trafficking a lucrative business, although it is illegal almost everywhere in the world apart from Iran. Kidneys are one of the most wanted organs today, making up about two thirds of all transplants. According to the United Nations, around 10,000 kidneys are illegally transplanted every year.