A major hospital in Kenya has warned people that they cannot legally sell their kidneys to make money. The message comes as a cost of living crisis, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, continues to soar across the East African country.
Kenyatta National Hospital, the country’s top referral hospital, revealed in a Facebook post that “How much for my kidney?” has become the hospital’s “most inboxed question.”
The hospital added a reminder that it is illegal to sell your organs.
“Please note that organ sale is strictly prohibited and illegal,” the post added. “You can only donate out of free will.
Kenyans are enduring a sharp rise in inflation, which is at a two-year high, mainly caused by the soaring cost of food and fuel. Much of this has been made worse by the war in Ukraine, which has seen a major supply of wheat to the region blocked from leaving the Eastern European country.
Last month, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, announced a 12 percent increase in the minimum wage to help Kenyans combat the effects of rising costs. However, it has not been implemented.
In a speech to the African Union (AU) on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attempted to use the impact the war is having on many African countries to ask its leaders for more public support.
“This war may seem very distant to you and your countries,” Zelenskyy said. “But the food prices that are catastrophically rising have already brought it to the homes of millions of African families.”
Macky Sall, the president of Senegal and the current chair of the AU, called for “urgent dialogue” to end the war.
“Africa remains committed to respecting the rules of international law, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and freedom of trade,” Sall added.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Asia is the leading transplant tourism hub globally, with India among the top kidney exporters.
It is estimated that more than 2,000 Indians sell their kidneys every year, most of which go to foreigners.
An alarming surge in renal diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure is driving the global demand for kidneys, which greatly exceeds the legal supply.
As a result, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Iran have become the world’s biggest black markets for organs.
Blood plasma, sperms, and hair are some of the other organs which fetch a lot of money.