A lack of donors and surgical beds are forcing many Omani people to turn to the black market for their organ transplants it has been revealed.
‘Organ dealers’ ignore a worldwide ban on the trade by exploiting less vigilantly policed countries like Pakistan and Iran to gain the parts, which are then smuggled into the Arab Country to be sold to patients. Commonly the cost of a kidney transplant - the most requested in the country - can be over 20,000 Omani Riyals (more than $50,000), whilst some will charge almost double that amount.
As well as the cost, experienced, well trained and professional surgeons will refuse to work with the illegal organs for fear of making the practice more widespread, leaving the procedures to be carried out by inexperienced - and often untrained - individuals. Individuals who, it was reported in the Times of Oman, frequently make basic errors which jeopardize the life of their patients.
These procedures also have to take place in ‘secret locations’ which are said to include the dangerous and unhygienic surroundings of abandoned buildings and even barns. This can lead to further complications, and in extreme cases has resulted in desperate patients losing their lives as a result of botched surgery, further complications or infections picked up during the surgery.
Despite only having a relatively small population of around 3.5 million people, Oman is one of the top six organ importers in the world, with the majority of those being kidneys as a result of the high percentage of kidney disease within the country, an issue which affects around 1 in every 100 people.