Village Where Hundreds Fell Victim To Deception, Tricked Into Selling Their Kidneys

Village Where Hundreds Fell Victim To Deception, Tricked Into Selling Their Kidneys

Explorers embarking on the ascent of Mount Everest may behold three remarkable landmarks following their departure from the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

The foremost is the mountain’s summit, observable on a clear day from an aircraft en route to the Himalayas. The third landmark is Lukla, dubbed the world’s most perilous airport, serving as the landing point for climbers before proceeding to Everest Base Camp.

However, amidst the grandeur of the Himalayas, they likely overlook the third landmark: a small village roughly halfway between Kathmandu and Lukla.

Hokse, though obscure to travelers, is familiar to health professionals striving to expose the grim reality of international organ trafficking. Researchers estimate that approximately half of the adult population in this village of a few hundred residents has sold one of their kidneys for monetary gain. Exploitative agents frequently target impoverished individuals in rural areas globally, and Nepal is abundant in both poverty and susceptible populations.

In Nepal, brokers representing affluent foreign clients often befriend potential victims and deceive them into relinquishing a kidney, promising substantial rewards, downplaying health risks, and even falsely claiming that kidneys can regenerate. A study conducted in 2015 revealed that over 300 villagers from Hokse had sold their kidneys for as little as £160. Most victims were trafficked to India, facilitated by the porous border shared with Nepal, where many potential clients reside. Even the highest payments, around £3,000, are meager considering the potential suffering endured.

While many locals in Hokse assert that organ sales have ceased due to increased awareness of risks and skepticism towards brokers’ lies, the repercussions persist tragically for past victims. Economic hardship drives a significant number of young Nepalese men to seek employment in the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar.

Reports indicate that those who previously sold a kidney are particularly vulnerable to kidney failure in these countries due to strenuous labor in extreme heat. Jit Bahadur Gurung, 29, who spent three years working in Saudi Arabia, recounted his ordeal of kidney failure resulting from harsh working conditions.

In a cruel irony, Gurung now requires a kidney transplant, but Nepalese law mandates that the donor must be a close relative, and none in his immediate family are compatible. A prominent surgeon at Nepal’s primary organ transplant facility noted a shift in the demographic of patients, with an increasing number of young individuals seeking treatment for kidney failure upon their return from abroad.

Statistics suggest that approximately one-third of all transplants in Nepal involve returning overseas workers. Dr. Pukar Shresth highlighted a common pattern among patients, particularly those who worked in high temperatures with limited hydration, leading to complete kidney failure.

Driven by opportunities in urban development projects, an estimated 160,000 Nepalese workers migrated to the UAE alone in the 12 months leading up to July 2023. The number in Saudi Arabia and Qatar is even higher. During a similar timeframe, around a thousand Nepalese workers lost their lives in the Gulf states, with hundreds sustaining life-altering injuries and illnesses. Concerns persist regarding underreporting due to deficiencies in record-keeping within these countries.

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.


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