The Zambian government has been asked to investigate public hospitals linked to kidney trafficking in December 2015. This follows reports from Lusaka Times that several hospital employees in India were arrested last week in connection to the illegal sale of body organs.
A Zambian anthropologist who sought anonymity has asked the government to move with speed in investigating whether the syndicate in India has any connection to the alleged kidney trafficking in Zambia.
“The government should take keen interest in this issue,” the anthropologist told Lusaka Times
Booming Organ Black Market
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there exist more than 10,000 black market operations in kidney trafficking globally.
Last week, Indian police arrested eight suspects believed to be involved in the illegal trade of body parts, according to BBC.
Police accused the gang of luring poor people to sell their kidneys for only 300,000 rupees, equal to nearly $4,500. Later, they sell them for huge profits on the black market.
It is reported that the gang used forged papers to dupe hospitals into harvesting organs from people posing like relatives of needy patients.
Of the eight people arrested in the swoop, five are employees of the prestigious Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in Delhi.
In December 2015, Zambians were shocked by revelations that top public hospitals in the country were involved in illegal harvesting of body organs, mainly kidneys, which were allegedly exported to South Africa, where demand for kidneys is said to be high.
It was also reported that hospital employees in Zambia were stealing body parts from dead bodies during postmortem examinations and selling them to biomedical supply companies.
The report further alleged that the enterprise is well established in the country.
Top Indian Hospital Confirms Allegations
Management at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has admitted to having been involved in kidney trafficking, saying it was duped by traffickers into operating on victims believing they were genuine relatives of needy patients, according to ABC News.
“The hospital has been a victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients and the hospital,” the hospital management said in a statement.
Two of the arrested suspects are personal assistants to a senior nephrologist contracted by the hospital, but were not on the hospital’s payroll, the statement further claimed.